AS Salé takes part in the historic inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) which will begin on May 16 at the Kigali Arena, Rwanda, and will pit 12 African teams against each other in this new professional league, BAL announced on Twitter.
The result of a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), the BAL is based on the club competitions organized by the FIBA Regional Office for Africa on the continent and is the first collaboration of the NBA in creating a league outside of North America.
The BAL, whose first final will take place on May 30, will implement strong health protocols for the 12 participating teams and staff, based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centers for Control. and Disease Prevention (Africa CDC).
“We are delighted that the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League is taking place in the highly regarded Kigali Arena. Through the BAL, we are giving a platform to elite players from across the continent to showcase their talents and inspire fans of all ages, make basketball an engine of economic growth in Africa and shine a light on the dynamics sports culture of our continent ”, said Amadou Gallo Fall, president of the BAL.
For his part, Anibal Manave, president of FIBA Africa and of the board of directors of BAL, assured that ” FIBA and NBA are working closely together to develop protocols to ensure the health and safety of all players, coaches and officials ”, adding that the experience gained from the AfroBasket 2021 qualifying tournament in Rwanda late last year will contribute to a safe and successful BAL inaugural season.
The league also announced an adjusted competition format which will include a total of 26 matches which will all be played at the Kigali Arena. The competition will begin with a group stage of 18 matches, with the 12 teams divided into 3 groups of 4.
During the group stage, each team will face, once again, the other three teams in its group. The best eight teams from the group stage will qualify for the finals, which will be played by knockout.
The teams that will take part in this historic league are AS Salé (Morocco), AS Douanes de Dakar (Senegal), AS Police de Bamako (Mali), FAP de Yaoundé (Cameroon), Ferrovario de Maputo (Mozambique), GNBC de Vakinankaratra ( Madagascar), GS Pétroliers d’Alger (Algeria), Patriots de Kigali (Rwanda), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), US Monastir (Tunisia) and Zamalek of Cairo (Egypt).