Johannesburg — The second season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) will start in the Senegalese capital, Dakar on March 5, next year.
The BAL, which is affiliated to the National Basketball Association, held its inaugural season last year, with the entire tournament taking place in a strict bio-secure environment in Rwanda. For the 2022 edition, the tournament will be slightly more in line with its original aim, which was to move around various cities on the continent. After the opening round of matches in Dakar, 15 games will be played in Cairo, with the competition wrapping up with the play-off series at the Kigali Arena in the Rwandan capital in the last week of May.
“After a successful and historic launch last spring, we are thrilled to be able to grow the BAL’s footprint in our second season,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “Through this expanded competition format, we will bring more games to more countries across the continent, allowing new and returning fans to experience the excitement of this world-class league up close and in person.”
The BAL will once again feature the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries and will expand to a total of 38 games. The champions of Angola, Egypt, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia have qualified automatically to the BAL. The remaining six teams will emerge from a qualifying tournament, part of which will be hosted in Johannesburg next week. South Africa has one representative, the Cape Town Tigers, who will be chasing one of those six spots.
The BAL, is part of the NBA’s global outreach programme and has built on the popularity of the sport and the NBA in Africa.
During the second BAL season, the 12 teams will be divided into two conferences of six teams each. Each conference will play a 15-game group phase during which each team will face the other five teams in its conference once. The top eight teams from the group phase will qualify for the BAL Playoffs, which will be single elimination in all three rounds.