Smohaa overcome UAE as Jazira defeat Keralites

ABU DHABI - Two top class teams with quality players, it was always going to come down to who held their nerves.

By James Jose

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Published: Mon 21 Mar 2011, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:25 PM

Smohaa from Egypt held theirs but not before being given a fight by the UAE National team in the 16th edition of the Kerala Social Centre-Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club-UAE Exchange Jimmy George Memorial Volleyball Tournament at the Al Jazira Arena on Friday night.

Smohaa won 25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 26-24 in the second fixture, which ended well past midnight. In the opening game of the night, Al Jazira Club defeated International Keralites 25-20, 25-18, 25-11.

The night got going with colourful opening ceremony which blended Indian and UAE cultures.

Kerala Social Centre have joined hands with Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club to conduct the popular tournament. It is the second time in its history that the tournament is being played outside the KSC premises.

The organisers said that the existing facility of KSC was insufficient to contain the huge crowd.

The tournament features eight teams, two more than previous years. The teams have been divided into two pools. Pool A consists of Al Jazira Club, Ajman Club, International Keralites and Lifeline Hospital. Pool B features the UAE National Team, Smohaa Club, Dubai Duty Free and NMC Group.

“It is a good sign that a local club has come to support us,” KB Murali, president of Kerala Social Centre, said.

“We have been there since its inception. We have seen it grow. This year, with Al Jazira joining us, it has gone on to a larger scale. The tournament has grown over the years and with Al Jazira’s support, it is going to get bigger,” Sudhir Shetty of UAE Exchange, said.

“We thank Al Jazira for organising such an event. Such events helps players to test themselves against other good players,” Talal Al Hashmi of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said.

“Such events help develop volleyball in the region. It adds value to volleyball in the UAE,” said Khalid Al Hajiri, Deputy General Supervisor for Collective Games at Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club. Apart from the prizemoney and trophies there are also trophies and cash prizes for special awards.

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