Qatar hoopsters miss q-final berth despite win
The home team register a thrilling 16-15 victory over Slovenia, but fail to progress into the round of eight in 3x3 basketball.
Qatar notched an exhilarating win against Slovenia in the 3×3 basketball competition of the World Beach Games on Tuesday but sadly, their splendid performance could not earn them a quarterfinal berth from Group C.
Three teams – Ivory Coast, Slovenia and Qatar – ended with two wins each in the group. The quarterfinalists had to be decided on the basis of points’ difference.
Ivory Coast, whom Qatar had lost to in the first match, were way ahead with a 10-point difference. That left Slovenia and Qatar battling for the lone spot which the former snatched thanks to their better points’ difference of six against the hosts’ one.
Faisal Abuissa was the key man in Qatar’s win. He came up with a sensational two-pointer with just nine seconds left on the clock. Qatar was trailing 14-15 and the pressure was most certainly on Abuissa when he grabbed the ball from a melee. He took aim and sent the ball through the hoop to set off celebrations in the stands. With four seconds to go, Qatar kept Slovenia at bay and notched up a heartening win.
“Yes, there was plenty of pressure but I just kept my focus and tried the 2-pointer and it worked,” said Abuissa after the match. “We have been training together for these competitions for about a month now and that helped today,” he added.
Abuissa in fact scored eight points for Qatar, keeping his team’s hopes alive at key moments in the game, while captain Raslan Abdulla was their playmaker, brilliantly setting up his team-mates.
“It was a must-win match for us and we just focused on scoring the points. We never thought of not winning the game. We just stayed optimistic,” he said. But the home team’s joy was soon replaced by disappointment as the news of their exit trickled in.