FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave has provided an update on the future of the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) amid Coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with FIBA.Basketball, Manave who also serves as the President of the Board for BAL said they will do everything within their power to make the league a reality this year.
“It’s important to mention that all 12 BAL teams have made significant investments, which shows that those teams understood and committed to the BAL project,” Manave said.
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“As an example, Ferroviario de Maputo have signed four foreign players of good quality for a single season. This has never happened before in the clubs’ long history. They’ve shown tremendous interest in participating in the inaugural BAL, and that’s one of the reasons we have to give teams a chance to make history as the BAL’s first-timers.
“We’ll try to do everything in our power to make the Basketball Africa League a reality this year. We don’t want to cancel it. These teams should continue to believe in the BAL project.” he added.
The BAL regular season was due to run from March to May across six African countries with the Final Four scheduled for June in Kigali, Rwanda.
However, if time does not allow for the original format of the tournament, there are two options are also being considered.
We are monitoring some African countries’ decisions to see what kind of BAL format we are going to implement. We have three scenarios: One: We keep BAL’s original format (regular season across six countries and the Final Phase in Rwanda); Two: BAL to be played in two countries with Nile Conference taking place in one county and Sahara Conference taking place in another country. The top four teams from each group advance to the Final Phase in Rwanda; Three: This year’s BAL is played in one country over the course of two weeks, including the Final Phase. We are working to find the best way out of this situation.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).