Roland Berger triumphs in second consultants' basketball cup

05 December 2019 3 min. read

Roland Berger has emerged victorious in the second edition of the Middle East Consultants Basketball Cup held at Jumeirah Park in Dubai.

A determined team from hosts Roland Berger have overcome disappointment from earlier in the year to claim the second Consultants Basketball Cup with a win over BCG in the final. Held the Friday before last at Jumeirah Park in Dubai, the event welcomed 170 fans and participants, with teams drawn from many of the world’s leading consultancies – including the likes of Oliver Wyman, Accenture, PwC/Strategy&, Ernst & Young, Delta Partners, Bain and McKinsey.

Crowned the inaugural champions in February after defeating Roland Berger in the final, McKinsey & Company were this time around bundled out in the semis by a more resolute Roland Berger outfit. “We were ready for McKinsey this time, we knew that we needed to play their game and be tough throughout the contest,” commented Karim Tabaja, who first conceived of the tournament event last year together with Roland Berger colleague Mohamed El Kurdi.

Tabaja highlighted his team’s defensive efforts, managing to keep McKinsey scoreless until the eighth minute. “They put up a great fight but our defence was what allowed us to win. Of course, we also exploited our size under the basket and were able to get to the line as early as possible, something that definitely helped us win. It was not easy to beat the first edition’s champions as they showed great determination and tenacity, but our teamwork and great defence were key.”

Roland Berger triumphs in second consultants' basketball cup

Having earlier knocked out Accenture in the quarters, Roland Berger’s semi-final victory over McKinsey opened the path for a final’s match-up with Boston Consulting Group, who overcame one of two PwC teams in the other semi after defeating Delta Partners in their quarter-final fixture. “BCG were difficult to deal with on the other hand given their quickness and their effective outside shooting,” continued Tabaja, with Roland Berger forced to revert to a one-on-one defence.

According to Tabaja, the Roland Berger team was ultimately able to win out by capitalising from the free-throw line and through composure at the death – with both teams fatigued deep into their fifth match for the day. Altogether, the assembled teams – including a number of mixed-gender squads – competed in more than 20 games during the event, with McKinsey beating PwC A in the third place play-off to earn one of three podium prizes provided by UAE-based fintech start-up Sarwa.

“It was great participating in the CBC for the second time in a row as part of the BCG team,” said BCG’s Joseph Matar and Metodija Trajkovski, the latter who despite getting injured early returned to the court to lead his team’s fight. “What made the second edition really special is the fact that most teams were very prepared and wanted to bring home the hardware. As usual, a big thanks to Roland Berger for this amazing event and for the professional organisation.”

“The second edition of the Consultants Basketball Cup was a great success with new companies participating (Bain and EY) and more players showing up. The competition level was higher this time as most games were close – actually, the CBC opener between Oliver Wyman and PwC ended in overtime. In the end, we all enjoyed this special day together playing a sport we share a passion for – and this is what the CBC is all about!” concluded Tabaja. "Now our goal is to repeat!”