At the end of last year, it was widely reported that Africa would get its basketball league. Conveniently named Basketball Africa League (BAL), it was scheduled to start earlier this year in March. If you didn’t read about it yet, BAL is a professional basketball league that spans all across Africa. 12 club teams are set to compete in the BAL:
- Algeria – GS Petroliers
- Angola – Petro de Luanda
- Cameroon – FAP
- Egypt – Zamalek
- Madagascar – GNBC
- Mali – AS Police
- Morocco – AS Sale
- Mozambique – Ferroviaro de Maputo
- Nigeria – Rivers Hoopers
- Rwanda – Patriots
- Senegal – AS Douanes
- Tunisia – US Monastir
This new league is a partnership between FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and the National Basketball League (NBA). The format of BAL is similar to that of the UEFA Champions League. The 12 teams are divided into two conferences where they play five matches each. The top three teams for the respective conference then progress to the final six – the Super 6. Here, a round-robin competition is played to determine the final four teams. At this stage, there is a single-elimination tournament where the BAL champions are crowned.
Both NIKE and Jordan Brand will be outfitting all players including official game uniforms, warm-up clothes, socks and practice gear. Six teams will be represented by Nike and the other six will be represented by Jordan Brand.
Basketball Africa League postponed again, and again
Initially, BAL was scheduled to start on the 13th of March 2020. The historical tip-off was of course delayed following recommendations from different African governments. There was a lengthy discussion and forward-looking plans to imitate the NBA bubble and create a BAL bubble. It was reported that the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League would be relocated to Kigalim, Rwanda. Where all games would be played at the same arena, live on the same campuses while being isolated from the rest of the world. However, nothing materialized and it was recently announced that the BAL was postponed again with no new dates given.