The men’s 3×3 national basketball team arrived to a very warm and proud reception at the Hamad International Airport after clinching the gold medal in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The welcome home ceremony saw members of the Qatar Basketball Federation, the basketball community, family, friends, and media greet the 3×3 gold medalists as they walked through the arrival terminal. Touring QBF president Ahmed Al Muftah, who was on hand to watch the historical victory, was full of praise for his champion team.

He told the QBF media that the four gentlemen displayed the courage and stamina that reflects national pride, despite the negative backdrop of the country’s political situation.

They played with absolute professionalism and in the spirit of the game. Their cohesion and teamwork is what made them stand out from other teams. They unselfishly played for each other and were rewarded for it. Their behaviour on and off the court won them gold and the hearts of thousands watching.’

QBF Secretary General Ali Al Malki dedicated the gold performance to the Emir.

The gold win by our 3×3 boys is a win for Qatar and in particular for our exemplary leader and guide Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The Qatar national team was inspired by the Emir and his efforts to preserve the dignity and interests of our country. The victory symbolises our sovereignty and our people.’

The Qatar cagers destroyed their Iraqi counterparts 22 -12 and instantly became the highlight of the international 3×3 basketball. Sporting their newest gold accessory, the boys did not shy away from pictures and autographs with supporters and other athletes.

Finals top points’ scorer (11) and captain Erfan Saeed said that the Ashgabat experience was pretty special.

It was great to come away finally with another gold medal. It was much different from other events and we almost didn’t make the final. But we came to win and that’s what we did.’

Tanguy Ngombo who hit the winning basket at the buzzer in the semifinals against Mongolia (15-14) was ecstatic about coming back home with the gold medal.

I am so happy about our gold performance. The Mongolia match was a real heart stopper. I honestly thought we lost it. With seconds on the clock I thought I have nothing to lose. I took a shot and thank God it was on the buzzer and won us the game. We are home now and happy with the amazing experience and the gold medal.’

Abdulrahman Saaed could not hide his smile as he proudly strutted with his shining medal around his neck.

Yes, of course we are all happy. We went to the Ashgabat with only one thing in mind and that was to win the gold and make Qatar proud. We played a great tournament winning six from six. I am so happy to be part of this team and to be back in Doha to share the experience with my family and friends.’

Nedim Muslic who was instrumental during the tournament said ‘he can never get enough of it’.

What a great feeling it is to be wearing the gold. It so good to be home after such a busy competition. To see the Federation and our supporters here to greet us makes the win a little more special.

QBL 3x3 gold medalists

The athletes will now go their separate ways, before reuniting in October to prepare for the all-important FIBA Asia Cup  2017 which will be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 27-29 October.

For more information on Qatar Basketball Federation, visit their website through this link.