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Thailand’s women’s 3x3 basketball team claimed the gold medal in Ashgabat on Sunday evening.
Qatar, Thailand take 3x3 gold as sport continues OCA-backed growth

24 Sep 2017
Ashgabat, September 24, 2017: Qatar and Thailand claimed the gold medals in the men’s and women’s 3x3 basketball in front of packed stands at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Sunday evening as the sport continues to make huge strides on the international stage.

The Olympic Council of Asia has been an avid supporter of the sport for more than a decade, featuring 3x3 as a demonstration event at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau before including it as a medal sport at the Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia a year later. The sport has grown rapidly since and will be included in the Olympic Games programme for the first time in Tokyo in 2020.

Asian nations have proven themselves to be among the world’s leading exponents of the sport, with Qatar winning the FIBA 3x3 World Championship in Russia in 2014, and the Gulf state’s men’s team showed their strength again when they defeated Iraq in the final in Ashgabat.

Erfan Saeed top scored for the Qataris with 11 points, scoring four out of four from two-point range as they won 22-12 against Iraq in the final with more three minutes to spare in the game. “Luckily we made all of our shots and we won the medal,” said Saeed. “I’m really happy, it’s always a good thing to get the gold and take it home for the federation and the people of Qatar.”

Tanguy Ngumbo scored six points as Qatar dominated the Iraqis, who had defeated Kyrgyzstan to reach the final, from start to finish. Mongolia defeated Kyrgyzstan to take the bronze. “This team we played against them in 5-on-5 in Lebanon two months ago and lost, so it was kind of personal you know,” said Ngumbo of the final. 

“It’s always a pleasure to get a gold medal anywhere. From the beginning we were here for this gold medal, this was the goal. We did it, thank God, and it’s a great feeling.” Thailand claimed the title in the women’s competition following a thrilling finale as they defeated Uzbekistan in overtime. 

Tied at 20-20, the gold medal match went into overtime and Thidaporn Maihom scored a two-point shot that sealed the win for the Thais. Hosts Turkmenistan had earlier defeated Syria to take the bronze medal. “We played hard, it was no one-man show, we all played a role in winning this gold medal,” said Thailand’s Naruemol Banmoo. “Now we’re looking to qualify for the Olympic Games and we hope to go to Tokyo.”
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