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Riyadi U-16 team to compete at Dubai Basketball Tournament

By Aline Bannayan - Aug 27,2016 - Last updated at Aug 27,2016

The Riyadi U-16 team and coaches pose for a picture on Thursday before leaving to play at the Dubai Basketball Tournament (Photo courtesy of Riyadi-Aramex )

AMMAN — Riyadi-Aramex U-16 team will be competing in the UAE this week as the 2nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament tipped off Saturday evening.

The tournament which runs until September 2 includes eight teams in two groups: Egypt’s Ahli, Germany’s Bayern Munich, UAE’s Nasr and Ahli will play in Group 1 while Group 2 includes Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade, Jordan’s Riyadi and UAE’s Wasl and Shabab. The top two will advance to the knockout Round 2. Last year, Spain’s Barcelona won the title.

Riyadi Club’s basketball teams have had a packed summer agenda. The junior team travelled to Italy for the “Brindisi Porta del Salento” 4th International U-13 Basketball Tournament which brought together 16 other teams from Europe and Africa. Earlier, the youngest players — the U-11 mini-basketball team- played at the 24th Mini-Basket in Piazza Tournament in Matera, Italy where they participated for the 16 time. Riyadi were the first Arab team to compete in Matera — the biggest annual European event for players under 11. With basketball enthusiasts gathering from around the globe, this year, Riyadi was one of record 62 clubs from over 14 countries playing in the tournament. 

“This is part of our club’s strategy to invest in younger teams and build a strong base for the game in Jordan. We are happy to participate in regional events and help raise the competitive bar for our teams,” Riyadi Secretary General Fadi Sabbah said in a press release.

Since 1998, Riyadi now also sponsored by Zain, was the first Jordanian club to reinstate a mini basketball programme after a 26-year hiatus. Besides playing in the official U-14 league, one of Riyadi’s many basketball programmes is the Super League, which has 300 players from ages from 6-12 competing in the club’s year-round mini-basket programme.

 

Last season, Riyadi won the Jordan Basketball League crown to clinch the title that had eluded them for twenty years. Riyadi beat titleholders Orthodoxi 4-0 in the best-of-seven playoffs. The last time they had won the league was nearly 20 years ago in 1997 by then Jazira-Aramex team (whose players later on formed Riyadi’s line-up).

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