The Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently unveiled the technical and administrative arrangements of the Qatar Universities Basketball Cup at the HBKU Student Center’s Basketball Court. Universities across the country will be competing for the national championship beginning this week.

The basketball tournament, with games held separately for men and women, will have seven teams in each division. Two games will be played per evening, four nights per week, over a period of eight weeks. The men’s group is scheduled to compete on Sundays and Tuesdays while the women’s teams will play Mondays and Wednesdays.

The format for both divisions is the same – the teams will be divided into two groups playing in a round robin before the qualifying teams enter the knockout cross-over phase. The winners of the knockout will advance to a best of three semifinals. The top four teams will battle it out for the championship title.

QBF Secretary General Ali Al Malki said that the Universities Cup marks a new era for basketball competition in the country.

The championship will enable both QBF and HBKU to deepen cooperation on matters of common interest and at the same time contribute to the health and fitness of the youth across the country.

Al Malki also said that the QBF is strongly pushing to develop school and university basketball to make it more accessible to the broader community.

It is the responsibility of QBF with HBKU to promote, develop, encourage and create a culture of active participation. This championship will do exactly that. It will entice and attract many new players, coaches and administrators. We have been very supportive of students and I encourage them all to get involve and take advantage of this shared opportunity.’

Meanwhile, QBF senior international communications and events coordinator Samuel Rico said that the recent success of the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon plus the 2019 World Cup which will be hosted in China has increased the profile and interest of the sport in Qatar. He said that QBF wishes to build on this framework and improve its established participation base, to help grow institutional basketball and reach a domestic audience.

Majid S Al-Ali, head of events and recreation at HBKU Student Life, said they are proud to host the championship with QBF.

Official partner of the QUBC, Strategic Partners Alliance (SPA) managing director Omran Al Sherawi said it’s exciting to work with QBF and HBKU, even comparing sports to running a business.

Sport is very much like a business – you must start at the grass roots level; encourage, develop, support and promote your product in the same way that QBF and HBKU are doing with the Universities Cup. This is a great concept and that’s what attracted SPA to be part of it.

For his part, Integrated Engagement Communications (IEC), General Manager, Joe Bechara said they have been a long-time partner of QBF and they have seen strong brand growth through basketball.

IEC is honoured to partner with QBF and HBKU in this new challenge. We believe the competition will be a huge success and vastly improve basketball awareness amongst universities and bring economic value to IEC and other partners of the tournament.’

Check out this link for more information about the basketball tournament.