Tanjay Knights thump Desert Fox to lift Sepak Takraw Cup

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Tanjay Knights lift JK Sports Sepak Takraw Cup.

Tanjay Knights showcased their gravity-defying flips and acrobatic moves to thump Desert Fox 25-23; 12-21; 15-9 and lift the inaugural JK Sports Sepak Takraw Cup at the Jumeira Baccalaureate School on Saturday night.

Both teams started the game with mental toughness with no side gaining the upper hand as powerful flips were exchanged and both sides embroiled in a point-for-point chase until 20-20 deuce before Tanjay Knights pulled away with rolling kicks to take the first set 25-23.

Desert Fox retaliated in the second set as Alvin dela Cruz, who was awarded Best Spiker, sent Tanjay Knights reeling down the line with his acute smashes.

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Desert Fox demolished Tanjay Knights 21-12 in the second frame but their momentum faded in the third set as they committed numerous unforced errors coupled with smashes into the net and several out of bounds service.

After resting in the second frame, Tanjay Knights team captain and MVP Mark Anthony Abrasaldo returned to the court in the final stretch and took the scoring cudgels for his team with powerful attacks while his team mates Charlie Gador and Jun Elmer Tantoy proved effective in erecting a solid defence.

Tanjay Knights stunned Desert Fox in the third and deciding set 15-9 to bag the Cup.

“We are definitely overjoyed with our victory,” Abrasaldo told Sport3600. “It was a great match from both side but we proved to be the better team by being very aggressive in the final set.”

For his part Desert Fox team captain Ken Petinglay said: “We experienced fatigue in the third set but we’re happy with ourselves for putting up a big fight despite playing with no substitution.”

High kicks for Tanjay Knights team captain Mark Anthony Abrasaldo (white).

Meanwhile, Azkals trounced Fighters in two straight sets (15-7; 15-10) to claim third place.

Ten teams from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah participated in the one-day Sepak Takraw tournament organised by JK Sports in cooperation with Fiesta-UAE (Filipino Expatriates Sepak Takraw Association) and Gajah Emas-Malaysia.

Both JK Sports chairman Roland Crisostomo and Fiesta-UAE president Hector Santillas said they are hoping Sepak Takraw, a sport native to Southeast Asia which is a cross between volleyball and football, will see considerable growth in the UAE.

The game means to kick ball and is combination of two words: sepak, the Malay word for kick; and takraw, the Thai word for woven ball. Players do somersaults and can only use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball which is made of synthetic fibre or rattan.

Individual awards

MVP – Mark Anthony Abrasaldo

Best setter – Ronald Nanat

Best spiker – Alvin dela Cruz

Best tekong (server) – Daryl Masica

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Competitors at the marathon.

Spectators thronged Dubai International Endurance City in Saih Al Salam on Thursday to watch the 1st Camel Marathon in the UAE, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in cooperation with Dubai Camel Racing Club.

Held in conjunction with the 44th National Day celebrations, the marathon saw participation from 72 UAE national contestants between the ages of 18 and 50.

The much-awaited event was watched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Yahya Bin Ali Al Malaai, an experienced camel rider who has won seven previous camel races in the UAE, emerged the victorious, with Sultan Bin Nawab Al Balooshi taking the second place and Salim Bin Obaid Al Hammadi finishing third.

“We’re very happy with the response the marathon has received from Emiratis across the nation,” said Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC.

“The idea of a Camel Marathon has been in the air for a long time, given the history of camel racing as a popular and centuries-old local sport, and we thought the occasion of the 44th National Day presented the perfect opportunity to execute on the idea and launch the event.

“The Camel Marathon will occupy pride of place in HHC’s annual events calendar going forward, and will serve as a further platform for encouraging the younger generation to take up traditional Emirati sports and keep in touch with their heritage.”

Al Malaai won a brand-new Range Rover, while the second and third placed riders received a Nissan 400 (4X4) and Nissan 300 (4X4) respectively. Riders placed 4th – 50th were awarded cash prizes.

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