F3 'A' cruise into semis
Winners over defending champions Surprise on the opening day, F3 'A' booked their place in the semifinal of the 6th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament's volleyball competition with a straight sets win over Raptor on Saturday night.
Led by their Cuban star Yosvany Hernandez, who was in scorching form and scored a match-high 26 points, F3 'A' took the opening two sets 25-19, 25-17 before fighting back from 18-23 in the third to prevail 35-33 in a nail-biting finish.
Their win means Surprise and Raptor will now battle for the second semifinal spot in Group A.
"It is really nice to finish the group engagements with two wins from two matches," said Hernandez. "We had to fight to get both those wins, and this will certainly help us in the knockout stages. It shows the character of the team - we never give up and fight as a unit, which is the most important thing.
"Going into the knockout stages with two wins also means that we have the momentum with us, and we hope to use this momentum to take us all the way. We have got two more matches and we have to make sure we continue in the same way and not let our guard down."
In Group B, F3 and Spinneys are through to the knockout stages of the tournament, but the group topper will be decided when they face-off in the final match of the group stages. Leader Sport, the third team in the group, finished their campaign without a point following their loss to Spinneys on Saturday night.
Defeated by F3 in their opening match, Leader Sport seemed cruising towards victory after taking the opening two sets, but Spinneys fought back to win 21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-12, bringing Leader Sport's campaign to an early end.
Meanwhile, the 3x3 Basketball competition got underway at Dubai Festival City Mall, with 61 teams, representing 38 different nationalities, in action. There are 28 teams taking part in the men's section, 16 in the women's, 12 in the boy's competition and five in the girls.
"This 3x3 Basketball is a very simple game, easy to play and very popular, as you can see from the number of teams taking part," said Maitha bin Dhawi, a member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Women's Basketball Committee.
"So we are really pleased to see 3x3 Basketball becoming a part of the NAS Sports Tournament. We are also happy to see so many women and girls taking part, and hopefully this tournament will lead to even more people taking up this sport."
In the NAS Padel competition, the pair of Mohammed Mansouri and Guillermo Villafane defeated Sachin Talwar and Dean Macfarlane 6-4, 6-1, while Sheikh Saeed Hasher Al Maktoum and Omar Sharif Al Marzooqi lost 6-1, 6-2 to Emilio Missas and Carlos Luna. In the team competition, Por5 Team defeated Sky Team 6-1, 6-0.