Last year, the Basketball Africa League debuted it’s inaugural season that featured the continents best pool of hoopers. Today, the BAL has announced the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries that will be competing for the baobab-inspired BAL trophy.
The defending BAL champion Zamalek (Egypt)—who defeated US Monastir, 76-63, last May—and four other teams will be returning from the 2021 season. According to the League, teams will be divided into the Sahara and Nile conferences where they’ll compete in a 15-game group phase.
The season’s opener will see Senegal’s Dakar Université Club (DUC) take on Guinea’s Seydou Legacy Athlétique Club (S.L.A.C).
“We are thrilled to welcome seven new teams and four new countries into the second season of the BAL,” says BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall via an official press release. “Defending Champion Zamalek will anchor the five returning teams, after representing the BAL in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup this month in Cairo. The competition to bring home the 2022 BAL Championship Trophy is heating up, and we are excited that more fans will have an opportunity to watch the games live in three world-class African cities.”
In order to qualify for this season’s league, teams residing in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia had to win out their respective national leagues while the remaining six teams from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mozambique, South Africa and South Sudan earned their participation by way of the Road to BAL qualifying tournaments that ran from October to December of 2021.
The Sahara conference’s play will run from March 5-15 in Dakar while the Nile’s will run from April 9-19 in Cairo with the top four teams from each conference advancing to the single-elimination BAL Playoffs from May 21-28.
“The Road to BAL 2022, which was successfully completed at the end of last year, provided fans with some exciting close games and captivating action. We are optimistic that this expanded BAL season will be a huge success,” says FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave.
Photo via BAL/Getty Images.