The GCC basketball executive committee has confirmed the dates of the Under-15 GCC Basketball Championship which is scheduled to be held in Manama city, Bahrain from August 10 to 18. The decision was confirmed during a remotely-held meeting of the committee.
Asaad bin Mubarak al Hasani, Secretary-General of Oman Basketball Association (OBA), represented the Sultanate in the meeting. The committee announced that Dubai city will host the GCC senior basketball championship from June 18 to 26 after Kuwait and Qatar pulled out of hosting the event.
Mohammed al Qusaimi, head coach of Oman U-15 team, said the training programme of the team which started from January was affected by the decision of suspension the sporting activities until further notice due to the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic.
He added in his exclusive remarks to Observer that the OBA has sought approval from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth seeking an exceptional for the national team from this decision. “The letter was sent to the ministry and I hope to get a positive response very soon. Our aim is to resume the field training as soon as possible. The Under-15 GCC Basketball Championship is very crucial event as the tournament will act as Asian qualification for the GCC zone to the U-15 Asian basketball championship. The first and second placed teams in the championship will seal their spots in the qualifier’’, he added.
Commenting on resuming the training sessions through advanced communication platforms, he responded: ‘‘It is always better to have the training on the field especially with players in under age of 15 years. Also, having an external camp is quite difficult and costly during this tough period. Therefore, we hope to obtain the permission from the Ministry and Supreme Committee to resume the training and our warm-up session for the GCC assignment’’, he ended.
The technical preparation of the team has started since last January. Many short domestic camps were held at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex with attendance of large number of players. Coach Al Qusaimi had selected several promising players in the comprehensive training plan.
The experience national coach is leading the technical staff of the U-15 team as replacement of Bosnia’s Mladen Ostojic. Al Qusaimi is well-known name in the Sultanate as he led many local teams including Nizwa club for many accomplishments.
Earlier in January, 25 players were selected for the team and representing different clubs including Seeb, Al Ittifaq, Dhofar, Salalah, Qurayat, Ahli Sidab and Bausher.
Bashar bin Basheer, Qaiser al Balushi, Sufayan Tawfeeq, Muhannad Faraj, Ayoob al Jabri, Mohammed al Wahaibi, Abdulrahman al Maamari, Al Qasim al Wahaibi, Ahmed al Saadi, Faisal al Abri, Turki al Balushi, Ahmed al Ghaithi, Suleiman al Barashdi, Al Mukhtar al Shukairi, Al Yazan al Salti, Al Ayham al Salti, Mohsin Fouad, Qusai al Amri, Faisal al Balushi, Yousuf al Barwani, Suleiman al Hasani, Al Hawari al Hashli, Suleiman al Hasani, Laith Khimji, Sultan al Ghafri and Ghssan al Salmi.