Three PBA teams set to do battle for Governor's Cup in Dubai

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Ready for battle: PBA in Dubai.

Expect explosive action this weekend as three visiting teams from the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), the oldest professional basketball league in Asia, play several rounds of matches at Al Shabab Sports Cub in Al Mamzar, Dubai.

Perennial final contender Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are looking to notch their first win in the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup as they take on GlobalPort Batang Pier at 20:00 on Thursday, and then hope to register back-to-back wins when they face PBA’s most popular team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Friday night.

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“Expect very close games,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao told Sport360. “GlobalPort are playing well and they have a good import who just came in to reinforce them. They also have Terence Romeo, who’s the top scorer in the league.

“On the other hand, we’re struggling but I’m confident we can settle down, regroup and be able to carve a win. On Friday, it will be a more difficult game for us against Ginebra. I know they have a huge following here in Dubai and we will be playing against the crowd.

“But I don’t think Greg Slaughter is playing – that’s an advantage (for us) and we will try to keep the game fast and quick so we can have an advantage getting into the open court.

“It’s difficult to play back-to-back games; you have very little preparation time and your body is tired, but this is a character test for us and I feel we can pass the tests today and tomorrow,” added Guiao, whose team are down at the bottom of the team standings with no win and two losses.

Ginebra’s veteran shooting guard Mark Caguioa said: “It’s always a good battle with Rain or Shine. We played against them in the quarter-finals (last conference) and we match up well against them. Hopefully, we’ll give everyone a good show on Friday.”

The last time the two teams met in Dubai was in February 2012 and Ginebra won by a hairline, 89-88, also at Al Shabab Club.

Ginebra forward and Smart Gilas starter Japeth Aguilar, whose father used to play in local basketball tournaments in Dubai, and Greg Slaughter are doubtful starters on Friday but their gung-ho and “never-say-die” attitude is expected to be displayed by the trio of Caguioa, JJ Helterbrand and point guard LA Tenorio.

Meanwhile, GlobalPort will be parading new import NBA D-League veteran player Jarrid Famous. GlobalPort are in second place in the team standings with three wins and one loss.

Filipino expats who are known basketball fanatics are expected to come in droves to watch the games. Ion Gonzaga said: “These are official games and I expect all teams to seriously play their hearts out, especially Ginebra and Rain or Shine who are both struggling in this Conference. Expect also us (fans) to cheer hard for our teams.”

The PBA games in Dubai are organised by Clique Events and sponsored by Cebu Pacific, Bank of Philippine Island and Ayala Land.

Clique Events operations manager Carlo Zozobrado said he is expecting a good turnout of fans as only 15 per cent of the issued tickets are left for sale at the gates on both days.

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Friday Night Live to kick off at Kickers Sports Bar

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Fun and games at Kickers Sports Bar at Dubai Sports City.

Dubai Sports City’s (DSC) Friday Night Live (FNL) is set to beat the summer heat by moving indoors to the newly opened Kickers Sports Bar.

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And just like the outdoor offering that began at DSC’s Sports Village in March, Friday Night Bar Live will combine top-class music and entertainment in a chilled-out atmosphere – and all with free entry – making it one of Dubai’s coolest weekend spots.

By shifting indoors to Kickers Sports Bar, it means the fun will continue all summer long in air-conditioned comfort before returning outdoors in October.

Dubai Sports City Event Manager Ms Dorothee Petz said: “The launch of Friday Night Live at the Dubai Sports City Sports Village has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response as people have loved the chance to come and unwind at the end of the week while, at the same time, enjoying great entertainment.

Live music is a key component.

“With Kickers Sports Bar now open for business it seems like the perfect fit to combine the two during the summer months and Friday Night Bar Live is the result.

“Just as has been the case over the past two months, we will be showcasing some superb talent and we are sure this will prove to be another extremely popular event.

“The success of Friday Night Live has been phenomenal with, as an example, more than 2000 people attending our Irish evening in late March.

“It is another illustration that Dubai Sports City is not just about world-class sporting events; it is also about memorable and enjoyable events and activities for the community too, and Friday Night Bar Live is another one of those,” she added.

Kickers Sports Bar, the location for Friday Night Bar Live, is open from 12 noon to midnight every day and it offers something for everyone.

It is a great hangout to watch the very best sporting action from around the world on one of the giant screens in place and also the perfect place to unwind after using one of the world-class sporting facilities at the Sports Village, including the ICC Academy, the DSC Football Academy or Fit Republik.

People relaxing and enjoying Friday Night Live.

It also offers the option of an outdoor area, a great way to relax in the evening, even during the warm summer months.

Kickers offers a daily Happy Hour from 3-6pm and fantastic food and beverages, including the Carlsberg Draught Master and the true American Burger Experience.

And to cool down, it also serves fantastic Kickers floats to drink.

It is located within the DSC Football Zone, along with Champs Café, another outlet within Dubai Sports City to enjoy outstanding food and drink.

For further details about Friday Night Live at Dubai Sports City, go to https://www.facebook.com/FridayNightLiveDSC.

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Big names from Malaysia & India to play India Club UAE Open

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Organisers of the India Club UAE Open.

The 38th edition of India Club UAE Open Badminton Tournament was inaugurated on Monday (May 18) night.

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A record number of around 650 participants will play for top honours in 26 categories. Each player is restricted to participate in three events in order to create opportunities for more players to make it to the top.

Matches are also being conducted under a separate pool for Special Needs Students of SNF Development Center and Dubai Autism Center. There is also a separate pool for blue collar workers.

The tournament will also consist of a super league (men singles & doubles), with four ranked players each from India and Malaysia being invited by India Club.

Winners and runners-up of the men’s singles and doubles in the UAE Open will also play in the super league.

The players invited from India are Anup Sridhar, Moheet Kamat, Harshit Agarwal and Siddharth Thakur. Mohamad Razlan Shah, Muhammad Hafiz Bin Hashim, Nur Izzudin Bin Mohamed Rumsani and Zairul Hafiz Bin Zainuddin will represent Malaysia.

India Club chairman Vasu Shroff said he was happy at the response for the event and thanked title sponsor Global Hawk Imaging & Diagnostics LLC for their support and Yonex for being the official equipment and apparel partners.

Consul General of India to Dubai Anurag Bhusan, who opened the tournament, said India Club was his second home after the Indian Consulate and thanked Global Hawk for being the sponsors.

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