By Abdellatif Sharaa, Agencies
KUWAIT: 16 Arab basketball clubs, including a trio from host-nation Kuwait, will be competing for top honors as a pan-regional championship kicks off on Wednesday. The championship’s maiden contest will feature hosts Al-Kuwait club against Libya’s Ahli Benghazi, while Al-Jahra, another Kuwaiti side, will go up against Iraq’s Dijlah.
A day before the championship begins, Kuwaiti basketball Federation Chief Rashaid Al-Enezi highlighted the significance of the event as a chance to propel the sport to greater levels in the region, saying he had high hopes that Kuwaiti teams will put on spectacular performances. Clubs from Arab nations including Algeria, Libya and Qatar will also feature in the event that runs until October 15.
The 34th Arab Basketball Clubs Championship for men will start on Wednesday at Kuwait Basketball Association Hall at Sabah Al-Salem. There will be six matches on Wednesday. The first match (at 3:00 pm) will be between Yemen’s Mina Club and Egypt’s Al-Ahli in the second group. By 5:00 pm, Al-Ittihad Alexandria Club (from Egypt) will face off with Ahli Aleppo (from Syria) in the first group. Kuwait Club will play their first match by 8:00 pm with Libya’s Ahli Benghazi.
Ahli Bahrain will meet Qatar’s Al-Sadd (3:00 pm) at the Kuwait Club Hall in Kaifan in the third group. In another match, Kuwait’s Kazima will battle Oman’s Bashaer while Jahra (from Kuwait) will play with Iraq’s Dijla University by 7:00 pm.
Kuwait team, which were second in the previous tournament, aim to start strongly in the Championship. Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Basketball Association (KBA) Rasheed Al-Enezi welcomed the delegations in Kuwait – the land of friendship and peace. He said “the success of Kuwait Club in hosting the championship is considered a KBA success.