A new year marked a new season on the Ball Above All Sports calendar. The league hosts several categories including Elite Men, Elite Division 1, Women, Semi Elite Division 2, Division 3, Mixed, Masters 40+, Youth Boys 12-15 years and 15-18 years.
In the first week it was the youth that shone the most. The 12-15 year category in particular proved competitive as Phases Basketball beat Desert Raiders 72-68 in a clincher.
Last season they played two games against each other in the regular season and a third time in the semi-finals, which were concluded in favor of Phases. In 2021, nothing changed when the two teams competed against each other again until the last second. Kazi Sta Mari led the Desert Raiders with 35 points, 9 Reb, 7 Ast and 7 Stl, but it wasn’t enough when the Phases Academy was won over by a team effort from Robin Zumbuehl (22 points and 12 Reb), Lexi Calueng (22 points and 12 Reb), the nose ahead had 17 points, 5 Reb, 4ast, 3stl).
All in Sports Juniors played against BasicBall Juniors with a final score of 52-21 for All In Sports. Joseph Jabbour led his team with a double double of 22 points and 11 reb.
In other games, the week started on Sunday with Women and Men Elite. In the women’s league, Amazons defeated BasicBall 63-42, player of the game Luiza Selisteanu scored 16 points and got 13 reb, Hoopless defeated Pheonix 78-26, led by Jessica Ross ’37 points.
In the Men Elite League, some of the UAE’s top talent competed at a high level. It started with Brotown playing against Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia leading with 84-70. The player in the game was Djordge Kocic, who had doubles, 21 points and 19 reb. The competition was lit when the Dubai Fire and Dubai Heat played closely together, with the latter winning 93-90, led by Tarek Merhabis 26 points, 7 Reb, 9 Ast and 5 Stl. The last game of the night was a rematch against last season’s final: Triple Threat and B26 Falcons, Seraphin Mbomas 25 points and Ibrahima Haidare 22 points, 15 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl, brought the Falcons to victory. Final result 91-77.
Tuesday’s semi-elite league began with a 50C ball against Dubai Heat 75-65, with center Ibrahima Haidare knocking down 7 3 pointers and ending with 32 points, 14 reb, 4 branch and 5 stl. Desert Dawgs def. Dubai Flight 101-72, led by Giorgos Kalyvis ’32 pts., 6 reb. And 7 branch. And Ahmed Tartoussi 21 pts., 13 reb., 7 branches. And 5 pcs. YouBetterFly defeated the Vikings 110-90, former Lebanese professional player AlHassan Dandash scorched the statistic with an absurd triple double performance of 46 points, 11 Reb and 13 Ast and ex-professional Michel Hakim added an impressive 32 points, 7 Reb and 6 Ast up with Made 8 3pts.
Division 3, week 1 started on Monday and ended on Wednesday. Bad News Bears defeated Reptiles 46-43. Dubai Royals lost to We Not Me 71-53, Hustlers also lost to Agents 971 84-64. Les Bleus defeated Dubai Bulls 55-46, All In Sports beat Flying Phoenix 53-32, Black Panthers defeated LCT Squad 78-36. Dubai Fusion defeated BFD 67-51, Hoopers DXB prevailed against DXB Magic 59-54 and most recently the Oryxes defeated the Titans 78-53.
The mixed league, round 1, was fun too. Dubai Jedis and Kings & Queens battled to the end, with a final score of 62-59 in favor of the latter. ManChestHair United defeated The Wreckers 87-76.
The last league of the week was the Masters League for basketball players aged 40 and over. Make no mistake, this league had tons of talent and proved that you never underestimate an old man with a basketball. Brotown DXB achieved a total of 112 points against the 79 of the Amigos, with Durica Zarkovic at the top with 41 points. NMG also got a score over 100, beating RHRN 110-49. Carlos Salvatori led the team with 36 points and Charbel Sawaya Triple Double 25 points, 19 Reb, 13 Ast and 4 Stl.
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