Bisaya Tanan bucked a slow start to pull a convincing 46-42 victory over Cailey and lift the Jazzville 3-Day Basketball League Cup at the Jumeira Baccalaureate School in Dubai.
Bisaya Tanan struggled with their offence in the opening minutes and trailed Cailey by five, 16-11, but they came out firing on all cylinders in the second period and scored 12 points while limiting their opponents to just two to take the driver’s seat, 23-18, at the half.
The third quarter was a low-scoring back and forth affair with both teams exchanging leads but Roger Tibudan, who was declared MVP, kept Bisaya Tanan ahead by two, 30-28, going into the final frame.
Bisaya Tanan quickened the pace and really took control of the game in the fourth quarter by playing solid defence and forcing Cailey to commit several errors.
They erected a seven-point cushion, 43-36, in the final two minutes after Jeremy Ponce converted back-to-back baskets coming from Cailey turnovers.
But Rico Regalado, who led Cailey with 13 points, did not easily give up and kept the game close, 43-40, before Jeric Serdenia scored on an acrobatic shot and Tibudan split his free throws to secure the Cup including the 4,000 dirhams cash prize for Bisaya Tanan.
“We had a slow start but we showed our persistence and strong character to win the Cup,” Bisaya Tanan coach Jake Celocia told Sport360.
“We also struggled several times on the floor but we just believed in each other and trusted each other to come out victorious.”
For his part, Cailey coach Andrei Avila said: “We just didn’t have it – we missed many crucial shots and made numerous errors. We did not make defensive stops and we were less aggressive but will just bounce back in the next tournament we will join.”
There is no shortage of sporting action in the UAE this week and Sport360 has come up with our top picks.
From the the start of the Dubai leg of the IPTL, which features crowd favourite Roger Federer, to the Desert Road Runners 5K event at the Dubai Autodrome, there is an event to suit all interests this week.
INTERNATIONAL PREMIER TENNIS LEAGUE (IPTL), DUBAI LEG
Monday, December 14-16
Tennis fans in Dubai are in for a treat this week as Roger Federer and Andy Murray come to town. The 17-time Grand Slam champion will play for the Obi UAE Royals during the Dubai leg of the IPTL against Murray, who is fresh from winning the Davis Cup with Great Britain and will compete for the Oue Singapore Slammers.
The clash between two heavyweights of the game will be played on December 15 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium while the overall event runs between December 14-16.
Tickets are still available.
WHERE: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
INFO: International Premier Tennis League (IPTL)
DESERT ROAD RUNNERS 5K 2015
Monday, December 14
The annual 5K foot race is back for the fourth time at the Dubai Autodrome as runners complete up to two laps of the floodlit racing track in Motorcity.
Hundreds of runners will take to the circuit in the cooler evening temperatures between 7pm and 9pm while young people aged up to 17-years have the chance to run half of the distance.
Desert Road Runners club members are granted complimentary registration for the event while other forms of registration are now closed.
WHERE: Dubai Autodrome
INFO: Dubai Desert Road Run
MEYDAN RACE NIGHTS 2015-16 (RACE 4)
Thursday, December 17
The full season of racing at Meydan continues this week as local and regional racers battle it out for spots in premiere races like the Dubai World Cup carnival and ultimately the season-ending Dubai World Cup in March 2016.
The last race of 2015 at the venue is expected to be a highly competitive Meydan meet and the racing begins at 7pm, with the gates to the facility opening for spectators 90 minutes prior.
General admission is available at the venue while there are ticketed options to sit in Meydan's new GrandStand.
WHERE: Meydan Racecourse
INFO: Dubai Racing Club
GIANT DUATHLON SERIES
Friday, December 18
The 6-Race Giant Bicycles Duathlon Series is aimed at triathletes, duathletes, cyclists, runners and fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
Each race comprises off a bike ride, run and then a further ride on the saddle and is open for individuals or teams of two people. Age groups of the riders are calculated on the day of the racing.
People are advised to arrive early before the scheduled 7.15am start time and registration for the races is open until December 16, with each contestant receiving refreshments at support stations during the activities, as well as a photo download of them in action, goodie bag and a medal if they perform well!
Children are welcome and encouraged to ride on the traffic friendly courses.
WHERE: Hamdan Sports Complex
INFO: Giant Duathlon Series
AL AIN AIRSHOW
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December, 17-19
The Al Ain Air Airshow is one of the longest running events held in the UAE.
The weekend is one of the largest and most prestigious aerobatic performance festivals on the map, and features a glittering array of military, civilian aerobatics teams and flying champions.
WHERE: Al Ain International Airport, Al Ain
INFO: Al Ain Airshow
ARABIAN GULF LEAGUE
Saturday, December 19
The UAE's premier football league gets back into the swing of things with an exciting week 12 fixture list, which sess struggling Al Jazira, who recently sacked boss Abel Braga, take on Emirates on home turf.
World champions Chen Long and Carolina Marin were both beaten in the semi-finals on an extraordinary day when in which the season’s form book was torn up, and not one defending champion made it through to the finals of the Dubai World Superseries Finals.
Chen, the defending champion who has won seven Superseries tournaments this year, lost to Viktor Axelsen, the world number six from Denmark, with the Chinese player rarely showing his best form.
Briefly Chen advanced to 17-15 but his movement was not by his great standards exceptional, and he also made numerous mistakes, eventually losing 21-12, 21-17 and admitting himself that he had not played well.
Marin, who has five major titles from her finest year, lost a little less surprisingly by 21-11, 21-12 to Nozomi Okuhara. It was the second time in 24 hours she had been beaten in straight games by the Japanese player, having lost to her in the group stages, and it was also her third defeat in the tournament.
The slow conditions made it difficult for the Spaniard to impose her attack-minded methods against a superbly mobile opponent who consistently returned the shuttle into safe places.
“Yesterday I was very lucky to qualify,” Marin said, referring to the defeat of former world number one Saina Nehwal which allowed to progress on a countback of games.
“It’s difficult for me to control the shuttle in these conditions and my opponent played better than me. But it has been my best year and I just want to go home to recover.”
Marin fought to the end but Chen by contrast was oddly subdued and error-prone. Axelsen did well to tie up the world’s best player up at the net quite a lot of the time, thus negating his tall opponent’s long reach in mid-court and steep overhead counter-attacks.
“I didn’t play so well,” Chen admitted. “I know that my opponent played better than I did. But I am happy about my performance for most of the year.” He already had an eye on his preparation for the 2016 Olympics, he half-admitted.
Chen was surely not as happy as Axelsen after the biggest win of his career, who was he said “overwhelmed”.
Later he added: “My game was to stay a relaxed as possible, to enjoy it and to play with variation – and so to try to smile.”
Axelsen will not have a final that he may have hoped for against his compatriot Jan Jorgensen, the world number two, who lost 21-19, 21-18 to Kento Momota, the 2014 Thomas Cup hero from Japan who has since risen to five in the world.
Momota trailed 7-11 in the second game, but even then appeared more dangerous with his good movement and sudden ambushing jump smashes.
Despite this he claimed he had often been apprehensive about the outcome. He did not seem so thrilled at the prospect of Sunday’s final either, even though the biggest title of his career beckons. “I don’t have a feeling of happiness,” he said. “Maybe that’s because I am a bit scared.”
A Japanese double triumph is very possible. Okuhara plays the Women’s Singles final against Wang Yihan of China who overcame Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand with unexpected comfort, by 21-12, 21-12 in a match between former world champions.
“I didn’t expect this to happen,” said Wang, who has not won any title of significance during 2015. She did not sound as if she expected much to happen on Sunday either. “The last time I played Okuhara, in the French Open, I lost,” she added. “So I don’t know if I can win the title.”
The only other titleholders surviving on the fourth day were Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong, and they were eliminated 21-17, 22-24, 21-15 by Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan, the world champions from Indonesia.
The penultimate exchange was a contender for the rally of the tournament, lasting 50 shots, at the end of which both Ahsan and Yoo were on the floor.
There is also a possibility of history being made by Chris and Gabby Adcock, the husband and wife pair who could be the first players from England to win a World Superseries Finals title.
The Adcocks reached the final of the mixed doubles with a 21-17, 22-20 win over Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto of Indonesia, after being behind for much of the first game and then facing defeat when their four-point second game lead evaporated into a 16-17 deficit.
On Sunday they face Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na, the world’s sixth ranked pair from Korea.
Despite China’s Men’s Singles disappointment the sport’s leading nation can still win three of the five titles, with finalists in both the women’s doubles (Luo Ying and Luo Yu) and the men’s doubles (Chai Biao and Hong Wei) as well as the women’s singles.
The Luos will meet Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, while last year’s runners-up Chai Biao and Hong Wei will play Setiawan and Ahsan.