This Saturday marks the beginning of the BAL season, as AS Douanes host ABC Fighters at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Earlier than the season will get underway, right here is every little thing it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the league because it enters its third yr.
What’s the BAL?
Basketball Africa League is a three way partnership between the NBA and FIBA, as the sport continues to develop on a world stage.
The league options 12 groups from throughout the continent, competing over a three-month span to be topped BAL champion.
Out of these 12 groups, the champions of home leagues in Angola, Egypt, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia routinely certified for competitors, whereas the remaining seven bids have been decided via the FIBA-run Highway to BAL Qualifiers held from Oct. 12 to Nov. 22.
Till this level, 16 African nations have been represented on the BAL, with the entire rising to 18 as Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda punched their tickets for the primary time.
The groups are break up into two conferences: the Nile Convention and the Sahara Convention. Every convention will participate in a 15-game group stage, the place every crew is scheduled tackle the opposite 5 squads of their respective convention as soon as.
The Sahara Convention will play their video games at Dakar Area in Senegal’s capital, Diamniadio, from March 11-21. The Nile Convention will start on April 26 and run via Might 6 at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports activities Advanced in Cairo, Egypt.
The highest 4 groups from every convention will qualify for the BAL playoffs, a three-round single-elimination match held at BK Area in Kigali, Rwanda.
The playoffs and remaining video games will likely be performed from Might 21-27.
What groups will participate this season?
The third season of the BAL will embrace seven returning squads, because the remaining groups take to the match for the primary time.
The returning groups are headlined by US Monastir. That Tunisian squad has participated in each of the earlier seasons, ending as runner-up in 2021, earlier than returning to win the championship in 2022. Their opponent in the newest remaining, Petro de Luanda (Angola), additionally returns with championship aspirations.
Different returning squads embrace REG (Rwanda), Cape City Tigers (South Africa), CFV Beira (Mozambique), SLAC (Guinea), and AS Douanes (Senegal). The Senegalese squad reappears after lacking out on final yr’s competitors.
The newcomers boast the likes of ABC Fighters (Côte d’Ivoire), Kwara Falcons (Nigeria), Stade Malien (Mali), Metropolis Oilers (Uganda), and Egypt’s Al Ahly. The Egyptian membership emerges after dethroning former BAL Champion, Zamalek, within the Egypt Basketball Tremendous League.
Who do you have to look out for?
As groups are primarily based from everywhere in the continent, the BAL itself has change into a world league. Within the Sahara Convention alone, gamers hail from 13 nations all through Africa, Europe, and america.
Eight gamers enter with prior NBA G League expertise, together with 18 NCAA Division I abilities and 6 NBA Academy prospects becoming a member of their ranks. Additionally enjoying are 11 former campers from Basketball With out Borders, a world basketball improvement and neighborhood outreach program from all over the world, practically 100 of which have superior to the NBA.
ABC Fighters are led by coach Liz Mills of Australia, who’s returning to the competitors after main AS Salé to the BAL Playoffs throughout their final marketing campaign. In that run, she turned the primary lady to teach each a BAL crew and a Moroccan males’s crew.
Certainly one of her most notable gamers, Don Alex Robinson Jr., is ready to make his BAL debut this season. The previous TCU standout made his title within the NCAA for his skill to unfold the ground, changing into the varsity’s all-time assists chief.
One other former NCAA participant primed to make waves is the latest addition to AS Douanes, Terrell Stoglin. The guard has been the BAL’s high scorer every of the final two seasons, averaging 30.8 factors for an AS Salé squad who noticed consecutive first-round exits within the BAL Playoffs.
Zaire Wade, son of legendary NBA guard and BAL ambassador Dwyane Wade, makes the transition from the NBA G League’s Salt Lake Metropolis Stars to the Cape City Tigers.
Returning with champions US Monastir, ahead Radhouane Slimane appears to guide the crew to continued success within the BAL. The Tunisia native was named to the 2022 All-BAL First Workforce, because the stretch huge poses a menace within the paint and past the arc.
As squads from across the continent compete with gamers from across the globe, who will likely be topped 2023 BAL Champions? Tune on this Saturday because the race for the crown begins.
The place are you able to watch?
Catch motion from all 38 video games dwell, together with highlights, sport recaps, and all-access content material on the NBA.com and the NBA App.