The second instalment of the the NBA-supported Basketball Africa League (BAL), featuring the continent’s top basketball teams, will stage its play-offs and finals from May 21 to 28 in Kigali, Rwanda.
South Africa’s national champions, Cape Town Tigers, will be competing in the quarter-finals against Tunisia’s US Monastir on Sunday at 2.30pm. Monastir ended in second place last year, after playing Egypt’s Zamalek in the finals.
Later in the afternoon, Zamalek go head-to-head with Guinea’s SLAC at 6.30pm. As the first BAL champions, Zamalek will be keen to hold the trophy up again.
The Tigers are a well-resourced team with backing from an American ownership group, and they have a healthy balance of exuberance and experience. As the first South African team to qualify for the BAL, they played a convincing game in Cairo leading up to the Kigali leg.
The BAL league consists of 12 teams, each qualified through their domestic competitions, similar to the format of the UEFA Champions League. The second edition saw teams from around the continent compete in a very different format from 2021, across three months instead of a two-week Covid-19-induced bubble.
The tournament was divided into three stints. The Sahara Conference took place in Dakar, Senegal from March 5 to 15, with Rwanda Energy Group coming out tops. The Sahara Conference saw REG, Tunisia’s US Monastir, Morocco’s AS Sale, and Guinea’s SLAC qualify for the play-offs.
The Nile Conference was played in Cairo, Egypt from April 9 to 19, in which Zamalek, Petro de Luanda, Cape Town Tigers, and FAP advanced to the final eight.
The BAL semi-finals take place on May 25, with the third-place game on May 27 and the final on Saturday, May 28 at 6pm. All the matches are live on ESPN.
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