ABIDJAN (Cote d’Ivoire) – FIBA Africa has announced the 32 clubs across Africa who will participate in the Qualifying Tournaments for the Basketball Africa League 2020.
The first round of Qualifying Tournaments will run from October 15 to November 3. Teams will be divided into six groups with the top two of each group, in total 12 teams, advancing to the next round. An additional four teams will be invited to compete in the “Elite 16”, the second round of Qualifying Tournaments.
Four cities, including Bamako (Mali), Libreville (Gabon), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Antananarivo (Madagascar) have been confirmed as hosts of the Qualifying Tournaments for the Elite 16. Two other cities will be determined at a later date.
The top six placed teams from the Elite 16 will then join champions from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to complete the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2020 regular season lineup of 12 teams.
The BAL, which was announced earlier this year, is a partnership between FIBA and the NBA. The NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America, the inaugural BAL season will begin in March 2020, with 12 teams divided into two conferences.
Newly-elected FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave and President of the BAL Board said: “These club competitions have been established to support the development of basketball across Africa and provide a platform for clubs and players to encompass the sporting principles offered through this initiative. These Qualifying Tournaments will give 32 teams from across Africa the unique opportunity to be part of the BAL and compete with the best clubs of the continent.”
The groups of the Qualifying Tournaments for the Elite 16 are:
Group A (Bamako, Oct 22-27): Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers (Algeria), Alnaser (Libya), AS Police (Mali) and Seydou Legacy Athletic Club SLAC (Guinea).
Group B (host TBD, Oct 29-Nov 3): Abidjan Basketball Club (Côte d’Ivoire), ASPAC (Benin), Braves of Customs (Ghana), AS Nigelec (Niger) and National Port Authority – Pythons (Liberia).
Group C (Libreville, Oct 15-20): Forces Armees et Police FAP Basketball (Cameroon), Les Abeilles (Central Africa), Manga (Gabon), Virgen Maria de Africa (Equatorial Guinea), and ASB Mazembe (Democratic Republic of Congo).
Group D (Dar es Salaam, Oct 15-20): Patriots BBC (Rwanda), Hawassa Basketball Club (Ethiopia), City Oilers (Uganda), JKT Basketball Club (Tanzania), Brave Hearts (Malawi), and Dynamo BBC (Burundi).
Group E (host TBD, Oct 22-27): Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique), Jozi Nuggets (Republic of South Africa), Mercenaries Basketball (Zimbabwe), Unza Pacers (Zambia), Dolphins (Botswana) and Lions Club (Namibia).
Group F (Antananarivo, Oct 29-Nov 3): Kenya Ports Authority (Kenya), Cobra Sport Club (South Sudan), Gendarmie Nationale Basket Club (Madagascar), Beau Vallon Heat (Mauritius Island) and representatives from Comores (Comoro Islands) and Seychelles (Seychelles Islands).