3x3 Basketball gold medals go to Qatar men and Thai women
Pre-tournament favourites Qatar won the men's 3x3 Basketball gold medal on Sunday 24 September, while Thailand were surprise champions in the women's tournament.
Erfan Saeed, the only survivor from the Qatari team that was crowned FIBA 3x3 World Championships winners in 2014, led his side to a comfortable 22-12 win over Iraq in the final.
They won all six of their games at the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
Saeed, 33, netted 11 points including three consecutive two pointers and the final basket which ended the game and clinched the gold medal for Qatar.
Earlier, Qatar had downed Mongolia 15-14 in their semi-final, and Iraq had beaten Kyrgyzstan 20-18 after overtime.
“Today I decided to shoot from outside rather than go inside, in order to avoid their big guy. It worked, I think,” said Saeed.
“I kept the best of myself for the end. Although we had to play two tough games in an evening we didn’t feel pressure and proved our confidence.”Iraq tried to be competitive but were outclassed.
“Qatar are a really excellent team. You can’t play against them, because they are strong inside and outside. We tried to stop them, but it was impossible,” said Iraq’s Ali Ismael.
Mongolia got the bronze medal after they beat Kyrgyzstan 21-11.
In the women’s tournament, emerging Uzbekistan seemed to be the favourites, but Thailand came up big to surprise everybody, beating the Uzbeks 22-20 in the final.
Thailand had won the only previous AIMAG women's 3x3 Basketball title, at the 2009 edition in Hanoi, Vietnam.
With eight seconds to go in the final, Supira Klanbut tied the game at 20-20 and forced overtime.
Then it was the captain’s turn to take the big shot.
Penphan Yothanan shot from behind the arc and sealed her team’s triumph.
“I just took the ball and hit it. When you are in this situation to play an overtime and have the opportunity to finish it with a golden basket, you don’t think of everything,” Yothanan said.
Turkmenistan won the bronze medal by beating the Syrian Arab Republic 15-12.
In the semi-finals, the hosts had lost 20-11 to Thailand, while the Syrians were defeated 22-10 by Uzbekistan.
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