Basketball Africa League returns as Zamalek faces South Sudan Cobra Sport
The 2022 BAL season will begin in less than two weeks in Cairo, with six teams seeking for a spot in the highly anticipated playoffs in Kigali in May.
The Hassan Mostafa Sports Hall in Cairo will be the scene of heated battle from April 9 to 19, with 2021 BAL champion Zamalek hosting the six-team tournament.
The Nile Conference is Zamalek’s second international appearance since hosting the 2022 FIBA Intercontinental Cup in February, and supporters will be permitted to enter the venue.
Unlike the Sahara Conference, which only had two teams return from the inaugural BAL season, the Nile Conference will have three teams return, including BAL defending champion Zamalek (Egypt), former FIBA Africa Champions Cup Petro de Luanda (Angola), and FAP (Cameroon), which fell short of the semi-finals last season.
Espoir Fukash from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cobra Sport from South Sudan, and Cape Town Tigers from South Africa are among the newcomers to the BAL showpiece in Cairo.
A detailed examination of the Nile Conference rosters reveals that the event will be brimming with excellent players.
The Nile Conference is set to be a must-see competition, including some of Africa’s top players, from big names to newbies.
Zamalek retained more over half of their roster from previous season, including Dikembe Mutombo BAL Defensive Player of the Year Anas Mahmoud, who averaged 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, and signed Head Coach Will Voigt, who led Nigeria to their first African Championship win in 2015.
The Egyptian winners also signed former AfroBasket MVP Ike Diogu, sharpshooter D.J Strawberry (who plays for Cameroon internationally), Dominican Republic guard Edgar Sosa, and Filipino-American Mikhael McKinney.
Petro de Luanda retained the majority of their team, including Head Coach José Neto, after placing third previous season, although the Angolan champions enticed Yanick Moreira and Anderson Correia.
Correia is a Cape Verde international who has lately gained news for his remarkable dunking skills and fierce defensive game despite his very tiny stature (6’2″).
Moreira, on the other hand, has represented his home Angola on many times in recent years. The 6’9″ center, who played for Peristeri in the Greek Basket League as recently as last month, was on the NCAA basketball team at Southern Methodist University under renowned Larry Brown.
FAP, Espoir Fukash, and Cape Town Tigers qualified for BAL Season Two through the FIBA-run Road to the BAL qualifications, which took place from October to December 2021.
In addition, each club will have a player recruited from the NBA Academy Africa.
Ulrich Chomche (F.A.P/Cameroon), Khaman Maluach (Cobra Sport/South Sudan), Matar Diop (Cape Town Tigers/Senegal), Emmanuel Okorafor (Espoir Fukash/Nigeria), Thierry Darlan (Petro de Luanda/Central African Republic), and Khadim Mboup (Zamalek/Senegal) are among the players.
Over ten nations are likely to be represented in the Nile Conference, including Americans, Angolans, Cameroonians, Canadians, Cape Verdeans, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Egyptians, Kenyans, Nigerians, Senegalese, and South Africans.