Angolan and Cameroonian teams cruised to the semifinals of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) playoffs that kicked off in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday.
In the game between two former African champions at Kigali Arena, Petro de Luanda of Angola advanced to the semifinals after beating AS Sale of Morocco 102-89.
In another game of the day, Cameroon’s Forces Armees et Police (FAP) edged Rwandan side Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 66-63.
This year’s BAL playoffs and finals run from May 21-28 with eight teams competing for the title. On Sunday, four other teams will take to the floor to wrap up the quarter-finals series.
Terrel Stoglin of Morocco’s AS Sale leads the BAL in scoring with 33.2 points per game after 30 regular-season games, while Ater Majok of Tunisia’s US Monastir emerges as the most dominant player in the paint with an average of 13.2 rebounds per game. Chris Obekpa of Guinea’s Seydou Legacy Athletique Club leads the league with 4.6 blocks per game.
The league displays some of Africa’s finest basketball talents as many players from the participating teams were capped for their national teams.
The BAL, newly born out of the partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA, features top club teams across Africa. This year’s teams include champions from the national leagues of Morocco, South Africa, Cameroon, Angola, Rwanda, Guinea, Tunisia and Egypt.
Except for South Africa’s side Cape Town Tigers, Rwanda’s Rwanda Energy Group and Seydou Legacy Athletique Club (SLAC) of Guinea, the other five teams all featured in the inaugural BAL last year in Kigali, where the Zamalek from Egypt beat the US Monastir of Tunisia to win the championship.
Besides BAL playoffs and finals, the inaugural BAL Elevate Showcase will feature top prospects from NBA Academy Africa taking on the U-23 Rwanda National Team at Kigali Arena on Friday, May 27.