Had it all been normal, eight clubs would be gearing up for the final phase of the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL).
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all sporting activities around the world to be put on hold including BAL.
The tournament’s regular season was due to run from March to May across six African countries with the Final Four scheduled for June in Kigali, Rwanda.
While time has been lost as countries tackle the pandemic, FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave is optimistic the league can still be organised this year.
In an interview with FIBA.Basketball, Manave who also serves as the President of the Board for BAL said;
“As an organisation, we are currently facing a very complicated situation. Nobody can predict the future, and we depend on the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Authorities’ guidelines. But, it’s worth noting that some [African] countries are beginning to relax their lockdown measures, which is a good sign for making the BAL a reality this year.
What we have to do is to resume the BAL project in the next few months, maybe in September. Some say that the COVID-19 pandemic could reach its peak in Africa in September, but there’s no evidence of that, and the good news is that most countries continue fighting this pandemic. Our hope is that the BAL’s first edition takes place in 2020. It’s important to give all stakeholders involved a sign of confidence. That includes clubs, local federations, sponsors, and public. And the best way to give them confidence is by starting the competition.Anibal Manave, FIBA Africa President
The twelve teams that qualified for the inaugural Basketball Africa League season are Patriots (Rwanda), GNBC (Madagascar), Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique), AS Douanes (Senegal), AS Police (Mali), AS Sale (Morocco), GS Petroliers (Algeria), FAP (Cameroon), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Union Monastir (Tunisia) and Zamalek (Egypt).