Banner 3 Banner 2
All GamesEast AfricaRwanda

Basketball Africa League [BAL] Kick Off Today in Kigali Rwanda!

BAL Basketball Africa League playoffs officially tip off later today (Friday) at BK Arena. The Big Tip Off reflects on the conference play and previews the eight teams ahead of the seeding games.

The playoffs will feature eight of the best in Africa namely South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers, Senegal’s AS Douanes, Al Ahly from Egypt, Angola’s Petro de Luanda, Tunisia’s US Monastir, Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers, Al Ahly from Libya and FUS da Rabat from Morocco.

A vivid look at the last eight battling from tonight 24th June to 1st July of this year when the finals will take place in Kigali Rwanda and the BAL winner will officially be crowned.

Cape Town Tigers! 

The Tigers had a rocky start to their home debut during the Kalahari Conference, managing a single win against Petro de Luanda in their penultimate game of conference play. In that game (against Petro), the South African champions showed sparks of their potential. The Tigers also shared the ball better and reduced turnovers.

Read Also: Rwandan National wins K250M in betPawa Aviator game!

The Tigers are one of the six teams who have made roster changes ahead of the BAL playoffs. The likes of Billy Preston, co-captain Lebesa Selepe and rookie Storm Gilchrist are no longer with the team. However, the additions of former Dynamo BBC guard Dheiu Deing, former Stade Malien forward Brian Bridgeforth and centre Mouhamadou Ndoye could stabilise the South African team.

AS Douanes 

The Senegal club had a mixed performance throughout the Sahara Conference. A loss of concentration down the stretch in games proved costly as they suffered three losses. However, their three wins, including a buzzer-beater by Mike Fofana with three seconds left in the game against Rivers Hoopers, showcased that the Senegalese champions can compete and win against the best of them.

AS Douanes maintained their roster ahead of the BAL playoffs – they have the momentum from the Sahara Conference, but can it lead to an appearance in the final?

Al Ahly Egypt

Al Ahly finished at the top of the Nile Conference once again. But the reigning BAL champs, who have exhibited a composed demeanour found themselves a little shaken on a few occasions, including their upset loss to Uganda’s City Oilers.

To their credit, Al Ahly’s depth and versatility across all positions allowed them to aggressively attack their opponents, giving them comfortable leads in games. The Egyptian giants excelled in rebounding, averaging 43.8 total rebounds per game, indicating strong performance on both ends of the court.

Petro de Luanda

The Angolans had a disappointing Kalahari Conference campaign despite clinching one of the automatic qualifications for Kigali. Petro, usually strong during the regular season, suffered two losses in regular season play.

Historically, Petro is a team that excels at moving the ball well and creating opportunities to showcase their ability to shoot from beyond the arc and stretch the floor. However, this season, they struggled and could not adjust as expected. Despite their offensive struggles, Petro maintained a competitive defensive presence by limiting their opponents’ shooting percentages and rebounding numbers. Their ability to limit opponents’ scoring opportunities and force turnovers contributes to their defensive effectiveness.

The Angolan champions have possibly made the biggest adjustment to their team, replacing coach Jose Neto with Sergio Moreno. Anthony Nelson and Edmir Lucas were replaced by guard Nicholas Faust and forward Clesio Castro. Castro will help to provide a strong interior presence, while Faust will be an additional scoring option.

FUS da Rabat

The Moroccan club were the Kalahari Conference’s most exciting team. FUS showcased their versatility as each player stepped on the floor.

FUS was able to maximize scoring opportunities through their shot selection as well as offensive execution. This is reflected in their 46.4% field goal percentage. The Moroccan champions’ strong rebounding presence at both ends of the floor limited opponents’ second-chance opportunities.

FUS have made no changes to their team as they will head into the BAL playoffs as they look to continue their dominance.

Al Ahly Benghazi Libya

Al Ahly Benghazi’s debut in the Nile Conference saw them display individual brilliance and collective effort. Their balanced scoring, efficient shooting, strong rebounding, and disciplined play were hallmarks of their campaign. With solid contributions from their starters and bench, Al Ahly Benghazi showed that they are a well-rounded and resilient team capable of competing at a high level.

Throughout the regular season, Al Ahly Benghazi demonstrated a balanced scoring approach with five players averaging in double digits. This balanced attack made them less predictable and more challenging for opponents to defend. The team’s dominance in rebounding at the offence end provided crucial second-chance opportunities, allowing them to remain a threat in the paint. Al Ahly Benghazi also excelled in maintaining possession, resulting in minimized turnovers.

The Libyan champions let go of their primary point guard, Pierre Jackson and Anees Almansouri and brought in Omar Aldirfeeli and Robert Wilson Golden. The loss of Jackson, who was a key contributor in his scoring, pushing the ball up the floor, could prove detrimental to them in the BAL playoffs.

Rivers Hoopers

Rivers Hoopers had a strong debut in the Sahara conference, remaining undefeated in the first round of the competition. But they would suffer two defeats later. The first was a buzzer-beater in a game against AS Douanes and the other because of visible fatigue in the final fixture against US Monastir. The last game saw star point guard Will Perry get a DNP.

At a glance, there is not much difference between the Hoopers’ and their opponents statistically. But it came down to their team chemistry, a component which many other teams have struggled to find so far this season. The Hoopers demonstrated their cohesive team dynamic. They have a balanced distribution of responsibilities and scoring support from Will Perry, Devine Eke, Kelvin Amayo, and Peter Olisemeka, who were able to step up for the team on any given night.

US Monastir

The Tunisian club emerged as a phoenix from the ashes to secure their spot in the BAL playoffs. After losing their first three games of the Sahara Conference, Monastir came out swinging in the second round. The Blue Empire won three straight to secure the last third-best place ticket.

While the team struggled in the first round, going 0-3, they showed resilience. Monastir managed to find their identity and corrected their mistakes. The impact of Firas Lahyani on the defensive glass and his steals allowed them to limit the opposition’s offensive opportunities and create opportunities for them to take advantage of their offensive arsenal and convert offensively.

William Musyoka

An enthusiastic i-gaming ambassador, writer, and editor. Wide and broad know-how of the African gaming sphere. Always ready to expand on any shared synergies for mutual benefits and growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

You cannot copy content of this page