The boys from GEMS Wellington Al Khail claimed the U-11 DAPSA Basketball Title with a sensational victory at Swiss International Scientific School on Wednesday evening.
The finals day saw the six top placed teams from the regular DAPSA season (DESS, WEK, HES, WIS, JPS and WSO) battle it out in a bid to be crowned 'Champions of Dubai'.
In Pool A, a strong display from WIS saw them edge out a well organised DESS team into second, with WSO being eliminated.
In Pool B, Horizon English School earned an impressive victory over hot favourites WEK to top the group, with JPS unfortunate to be edged out of contention.
Horizon then produced another composed display in their semi final to defeat DESS 13-5, whilst WEK bounced back to beat a strong WIS team 18-13 on the opposite court
3rd Place Play-off
In the third/fourth place play-off, DESS overcame WIS to seal third place for the men in red.
Despite tasting defeat for the first time this season in the group stages, WEK showed no signs of dented confidence in the opening stages of the final, converting two fast breaks within the first minute and moving the ball with a swagger that suggested much more was to come.
A well organised and athletic Horizon team managed to work their way into the game briefly, talisman Anton converting a long-range jumper to bring the deficit back to two.
However, Horizon struggled to contain a classy WEK team that looked intent on revenge and continued to threaten each time they won possession – MVP Omar floated in a beautiful 3-point shot and side-kick Demitrius converting a tricky lay-up under huge pressure to close out the quarter in a commanding position.
The second quarter saw Horizon grow into the game, but the shots that had hit the mark so beautifully during the group stages and semi finals just would not drop, whilst WEK’s acute game awareness kept them in control.
End of First Half: WEK 16 – 6 HES
A scrappy third quarter saw both teams neutralise each other – a couple of WEK free throws the only points to be scored.
The closing stages of the match saw heroic efforts from both teams; Anton went close, before Callum Hubbert drained a glorious jump-shot from downtown to breathe new life into HES’s tired legs.
Despite HES’s best efforts, the imperious Omar was now draining shots from all angles and the 2018 DAPSA title was WEK’s.
Full time: WEK 25 – 8 HES
Speaking after the match WEK Head Coach, Mr Lomas, lauded praise on his team's effort and attitude.
"The boys have worked so hard during the season – it's all paid off here at the finals so we're absolutely over the moon."
Lomas also praised his team's bouncebackability, saying that, if anything, the defeat to Horizon ES during the group stages helped the team regain focus.
"We had quite a comfortable passage to the finals, and I don't think the boys expected that level of competition during the group stage, so getting beat there really helped us. From there on we went on to beat WIS, who are an amazing team, and they've just gone and put it right in the final, which is absolutely class from the boys."
Horizon boss, Mr Tangney, was proud of the way his boys performed.
"The guys have played unbelievably today. We produced three outstanding performances to make it to the final, and we've just ran out of juice in the end. Fair play to WEK – they have some outstanding players and thoroughly deserve their victory."
To see Mr Lomas's interview in full, click here.
To see Mr Tngney's interview in full, click here.
To see action shots and winners pics from the event, click here.