With the FIBA-run Road to the BAL in full gear across the continent since early October, theBal.com brings you a snapshot of how the 2022 BAL playoffs teams performed in their domestic leagues and what they have been up to.
Since Union Sportive Monastarienne beat Petro de Luanda in the Final of the BAL last May in Kigali, Rwanda – in what was the Monastir-based outfit’s first-ever continental trophy - BAL followers were left wondering what happened after Season 2.
A lot has happened, in fact. From three-peat, back-to-back titles to disappointing domestic campaigns, those eight BAL playoffs teams experienced it all.
After successive attempts to climb to the top of Africa’s basketball hierarchy, US Monastir finally became a powerhouse to be reckoned with.
US Monastir not only won the National Cup title for the third consecutive time, but they also clinched a three-peat in the Tunisian League after beating Ez Zahara 3-1 in the best-of-five series. And, looking ahead to the new season, the current BAL reigning champions agitated the Tunisian basketball market with the signing of Tunisia international player Ziyed Chennoufi, who joined from Etoile Sportive Rades.
In the Southern part of the continent, Petro de Luanda remained the most dominant team in Angola.
The 2022 BAL runners-up swept Inter Clube de Luanda in a best-of-three series to win the UNITEL Basketball League for the third straight time. While keeping most of its roster from the BAL season 2, Petro de Luanda made some adjustments to the squad.
The Angolan champions signed Angolan international player Teotonio Dó from arch-rivals Primeiro de Angola, and, brought in Souleyman Diabate – the only player to win two BAL titles. Petro de Luanda opened the 2022-2023 season with another triumph after beating Primeiro de Agosto in the Angolan Super Cup two weeks ago in Lubango city.
Over the weekend, José Neto’s team beat the Cape Town Tigers in a friendly two-game series in Johannesburg.
Winners of the inaugural BAL season, Zamalek fell short in the semi-finals of Egypt’s Super League against Al Ittihad, who, eventually lost to Al Ahly in the Finals.
The news that dominated headlines in Egypt’s basketball scene in recent months was the departure of former BAL Defensive Player of Year Anas Osama Mahmoud, who joined Al Ittihad in a reported three-year deal.
Morocco’s perennial champions AS Salé did it again and will represent the Kingdom in the Road to the BAL Elite 16 next month.
Under Head Coach Said El Bouzidi, who led AS Salé to the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup title, the Salé-based side beat a star-studded FUS Rabat 2-0 in the best-of-three Finals series. It was AS Salé’s third straight national league title.
In the central part of Africa, Forces Armees et Police (FAP) recorded a spotless Final-Four campaign to lift the National Championship title for the third time in a row.
With their latest title, FAP is headed to the Elite 16 qualifying for the BAL.
Cape Town Tigers – The Tigers made the most of their BAL experience to return home better than ever to upset Jozi Nuggets in South Africa’s National League. The Tigers will attempt to qualify for the BAL for the second straight time when they host one of the qualifying groups next month.
Last month Rwanda Energy Group (REG) reminded everyone who rules basketball in the East African nation.
In a battle for the Rwandan crown between two former BAL participants, REG came up on the top to defend their title after beating Patriots Basketball Club in Game 5 of the best-of-five series.
Meanwhile, no league season took place in Guinea. It remains to be known if the 2021 champions Seydou Legacy Athetique Club (SLAC) are allowed to represent the country in the Elite 16 Round to the BAL.