A lot happened during the 2023 BAL Conferences season, but the inevitable question is, which players have been the most dominant and impactful in the build-up to the Semi-Finals on Wednesday, May 24th?
A thorough search into games stats, games reviews, on-court leadership and impact to their teams indicate that five players have their fingertips in season 3 of the BAL one way or another.
In no particular order, the following five players have unquestionably made their presences felt throughout the 34 BAL games played so far.
Chris Crawford (AS Douanes)
The 30-year-old guard isn’t just AS Douanes’ leader in BAL appearances – He has played 17 BAL games dating back to 2021 – but he has also become the go-to man for the Senegalese champions.
A sharpshooter who averages team-highs of 19.5 points, 4 assists in 35 minutes per game, Crawford has been vital in AS Douanes’ current four-game winning streak.
A three-point specialist, Crawford is currently AS Douanes’ prime offensive option.
In the semis, Crawford will face Petro de Luanda for the first time in his BAL career.
Carlos Morais (Petro de Luanda)
Morais continues to defy the odds. At 37 years of age, he is showing a terrific form and leadership.
His contributions to the team have risen from 11.5 points per game in 2021; 14.6 points (in the first six games in 2022) to 17.3 points per game six games into the current BAL season.
But it’s his three-point prowess that has steered Petro to a perfect 6-0 mark so far. Morais is averaging a BAL career-high 50% from long-range, a clear improvement from his 34% in 2021 and 27.9% in the first six games of the 2022 season.
Besides his impact on the offensive end, Morais currently averages 4.2 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game.
Aliou Diarra (Stade Malien)
His slim physique doesn’t tell the full story of his ability and dominance in the painted area.
At 6’9, Diarra continues to put up big numbers. He is currently the only player that has recorded six double-doubles in the first six games of the season.
The 21-year-old averages 18 points, 13.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game.
Diarra - alongside teammate Souleymane Berthe - have been the heart-and-soul of Stade Malien, who face an uphill task against title contenders Al Ahly on Wednesday.
Nuni Omot (Al Ahly)
A true difference-maker, Nuni Omot has been a massive lift for Al Ahly offensively, averaging 18.8 points, seven points more than the team’s second leading scorer Ehab Amin.
Be it attacking the rim or shooting from behind the arc, Omot appears as Al Ahly’s main scorer option.
The South Sudanese forward averages 27.9 minutes, a minute fewer than Michael Thompson, another valuable option on the offensive end.
Ater Majok (Petro de Luanda)
Defensively, only Aliou Diarra can be as intimidating as Ater Majok.
Both players average 2.2 block shots per game, but Majok spends less time on the floor, averaging 22 minutes compared to Diarra’s 27 minutes per game.
Majok, who won the 2022 Dikembe Mutombo Defensive Player of the year award, has added a massive support to Petro de Luanda’s defense.
Other players making significant contribution to their teams ahead of the Semi-Finals include Jean Jacques Boissy (AS Douanes), Childe Dundao (Petro de Luanda), Corey Webster (Al Ahly), and Rueben Chinyelu (Stade Malien).