NAS Sports Tournament has grown both in stature and numbers by leaps and bounds since its inception.
The Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament 2019 will kick off on Wednesday with cricket, volleyball, padel and 3x3 basketball matches taking place across the city at different venues.
Surprisingly, the 2017 champions and Foohood Zabeel will get the NAS Volleyball championship under way with the opening match of this year scheduled for 10pm at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, followed by Dubai 2021 vs Al Burkan match, which is expected to start at midnight.
The NAS Padel championship matches will also be taking place at the NAS Sports Complex, and the duo of Javier Lopez Garcia and Sandy Farquharson will take on Jose Juan Matea and German Zunica in a Group A match of the Men’s Open category at 9pm.
In Group B, Emilio Misas Pereda and Guillermo Villafane will play against Jamil Hourani and Dean McFarlane on the adjacent court, and the two Men’s Open matches will be followed by the matches between ZATA Juniors and Victorious Secret, and SKY Team and TPS Team in the NAS Padel Team completion.
The NAS 3x3 Basketball matches, meanwhile, will take place at The Block in Dubai Design District after a successful first year at Dubai Festival City, and 30 matches in the Men and Junior Boys category are scheduled for the opening night of competition.
There are 66 teams taking part in the NAS 3x3 Basketball Championship - 21 teams in the Men’s competition, 22 in the Junior Boys, 17 in the Ladies and 6 in Junior Girls.
Adil Yousif Albannay, Chairman of the NAS Sports Tournament’s Technical Committee, revealed the number of registered teams had crossed 90, but only 66 were approved following an audit.
“The registration of some teams was rejected because of the failure to meet the conditions of participation,” he said.
“We are really pleased with the response, especially from the basketball-loving expatriate Filipino community, and we are expecting much stronger competition than last year in the NAS 3x3 Basketball Championship.
“The technical levels will also be higher because we will have some really good players taking part.”
Meanwhile, 10 teams have registered for the NAS Wheelchair Basketball Championship, which will start at the Dubai Club for People of Determination from May 9.
Dubai for People of Determination, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Al Ansari Exchange, Dnata and Dubai Municipality have been drawn in Group A, while Group B includes Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Ambulance, Dubai Public Prosecution, Al Bustan and Dubai Health Authority.
“We are looking forward to a really strong and very exciting start to the seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament in this Year of Tolerance,” said Ali Omar Al Baloushi, vice chairman of the organizing committee.
“The tournament has grown to 13 events this year and the addition of cricket and snowboarding to the roster this year meets the strategic objectives of the Tournament - to involve virtually every segment of our community in the NAS Sports Tournament, and to encourage them to embrace sports and a physically active lifestyle.”
Organised by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and has been held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013.
The Tournament has seen more than 22,000 athletes take part over the past six seasons and the seventh season, being held under the slogan ‘Limitless Abilities’, will see more than 6,500 participants in action in 13 different events: Futsal, Volleyball, Padel, Fencing, Wheelchair Basketball, Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities, NAS Night Challenge, the 5km and 10km Run, 75km Cycle Race, 3x3 Basketball, Jiu-Jitsu, Cricket and Snowboarding. There is a prize purse of Dhs6 million on offer for them.
Mohammed Al Hachdadi and Bisset Yordan proved to be a formidable combination on the opening night of the NAS Volleyball Championship, guiding Surprise to a 3-2 win over a battling Fohood Zabeel. Moroccan Al Hachdadi, the man of the match, scored a game-high 32 points while Yordan of Cuba contributed 25 points
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