2020 BAL season

The 2020 Basketball Africa League (BAL) season is the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The league is a joint effort between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and FIBA.[1] Starting from this season, it is the highest tier continental league of Africa, replacing the FIBA AfroLeague.

2020 BAL season
Games played37

In its first season, the league exists out of 12 teams and is scheduled to begin in March 2020. The qualifying rounds for the season were held in October and December 2019. The national champion of each African country has the opportunity to qualify through the qualifying rounds. Meanwhile, six national champions directly qualify for the regular season.

On 3 March 2020, the BAL announced it was postponing its inaugural season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] The decision was made following recommendations of the Senegalese government. The BAL intends to start its league at a later date.


On 1 August 2019, the seven host cities for the BAL season were announced.[3] Additionally, it was revealed that the inaugural BAL Final Four will be played in the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

BAL president, Amadou Gallo Fall, announced at the NBA All-Star 2020 Africa Luncheon in Chicago, that the season will tip off on 13 March 2020.[4]

On 20 February 2020, it was announced that the twelve teams were drawn in two conferences named Sahara and Nile Conference.[5]

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

On 3 March 2020, the BAL announced it was postponing its inaugural season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[6] The decision was made following recommendations of the Senegalese government.

In November, the start of the inaugural season was delayed once again and the new season was moved to somewhere in 2021.[7]


The twelve teams for the inaugural BAL season had to qualify in their domestic competitions to be able to play in the league, similar to the other FIBA-organised competitions. Six teams qualified directly as their national champions while six winners of the qualifying tournaments would .

Direct qualificationEdit

FIBA announced that the national champions of six member associations would be directly qualified for the regular season. These teams are from countries which are also hosts cities for the regular season, except for Final Four host Rwanda.[3] On 23 October 2019, AS Douanes won the Senegalese national championship to qualify.[8]

Directly qualified teams
No. Country Team Notes
1   Angola Petro de Luanda Directly Qualified
2   Egypt Zamalek
3   Morocco AS Salé
No. Country Team Notes
4   Nigeria Rivers Hoopers Directly Qualified
5   Senegal AS Douanes
6   Tunisia US Monastir

Qualifying tournamentsEdit

Each of the FIBA Africa member associations was able to register one team from its country to participate in the qualifying tournaments. A total of 31 teams played in the first round, which was divided into six groups in six different host cities.[9] The qualification tournaments started on 16 October and will end 21 December 2019.

Teams and countries playing in the 2020 BAL Qualifying Tournaments
No. Country Team Notes
1   Algeria GS Pétroliers Qualified
2   Benin ASPAC
3   Botswana Dolphins
4   Burundi Dynamo
5   Cameroon FAP
6   CAF Les Abeilles
7   Comoros Usoni
8   DR Congo ASB Mazembe
9   Ethiopia Hawassa City
10   Gabon Manga
11   Ghana Braves of Customs
12   Guinea SLAC
13   Ivory Coast ABC
14   Kenya KPA
15   Liberia NPA Pythons
16   Libya Al-Nasr Benghazi
No. Country Team Notes
17   Madagascar GNBC
18   Malawi Brave Hearts
19   Mali AS Police
20   Mozambique Ferroviário de Maputo
21   Namibia Lions Club
22   Niger Nigelec
23   Rwanda Patriots
24   Seychelles Beau Vallon Heat
25   South Africa Jozi Nuggets
26   South Sudan Cobra
27   Tanzania JKT
28   Uganda City Oilers
29   Zambia UNZA Pacers
30   Zimbabwe Mercenaries
31   Equatorial Guinea Virgen Maria de Africa


Qualified teamsEdit

Team Home city Qualified as Qualified on
  US Monastir Monastir Winners of the 2018–19 Championnat National A 1 May 2019
  Zamalek Giza Winners of the 2018–19 Egyptian Super League 4 May 2019
  Petro de Luanda Luanda Winners of the 2018–19 Angolan Basketball League 25 May 2019
  AS Salé Salé Winners of the 2018–19 Division Excellence 30 May 2019
  Douanes Dakar Winners of the 2019 Nationale 1 season 23 October 2019
  Rivers Hoopers Port Harcourt Winners of the 2019 NBBF President Cup 17 November 2019[10]
  GS Pétroliers Algiers West Division winners 30 November 2019[11]
  FAP Yaoundé West Division runners-up 30 November 2019[11]
  AS Police Bamako West Division third place 1 December 2019[12]
  Patriots Kigali East Division winners 21 December 2019
  GNBC Vakinankaratra East Division runners-up 21 December 2019[13]
  Ferroviário de Maputo Maputo East Division third place 22 December 2019

Personnel and sponsorshipEdit

Team Head coach Team captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
AS Douanes   Pabi Gueye
AS Salé   Bouzidi El Said[14] Jordan
AS Police   Moussa Sogoré   Badra Samake[15]
FAP   Gilles Kouamo
Ferroviário de Maputo   Milagre Macome
GNBC   Lova Navalona Raharidera
GS Pétroliers   Sofiane Boulahia[16]
Patriots   Dean Murray[17]
Petro de Luanda   José Neto[18]
Rivers Hoopers   Ogoh Odaudu
US Monastir   Safouene Ferjani[19]
Zamalek   Tarek Selim[14]

Foreign playersEdit

Team African Non-African
Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Player 4
AS Douanes   Gerel Simmons
AS Salé   Deuce Bello   Terrell Stoglin   Tony Mitchell
AS Police   Dércio Mula   Saliou Ndiaye   Malcolm White   Tim Steed
FAP   Jordan Rezendes   Matthew Hezekiah
Ferroviário de Maputo   Gracin Bakumanya   Adjehi Baru   Álvaro Calvo   Rashad Whack
GNBC   Rashaad Singleton[20]
GS Pétroliers   Rolly Fula   Demarius Bolds
Patriots   A'Darius Pegues   Guibert Nijimbere
Petro de Luanda
Rivers Hoopers   Ahmed Hamdy   Kaylon Tappin   Billy Baptist
US Monastir   Ater Majok   Alhaji Mohammed   Chris Crawford   Andre Washington III
Zamalek   Matthew Bryan-Amaning   Maxi Shamba   Wayne Arnold   Mike Taylor


Location of venues of the 2020 BAL season.
  Red: Sahara Conferences;   Yellow: Nile Conference;   Green: Playoffs & Finals.

On 1 August 2019, the NBA announced the seven host cities for the regular season.[3] Six cities in six countries would host the regular season games, with three assigned to each conference. The Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda was announced as venue for the inaugural Final Four.

Arena Capacity Location
Dakar Arena
Dakar, Senegal
Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex
Cairo, Egypt
Salle El Bouâzzaoui
Salé, Morocco
Kilamba Arena
Luanda, Angola
Kigali Arena (Final Four)
Kigali, Rwanda
National Stadium
Lagos, Nigeria
Mohamed-Mzali Sports Hall
Monastir, Tunisia

Qualifying TournamentsEdit

In the qualifying rounds, 32 teams from 32 countries participated in the West and East Division. The first round began 15 October and ended 3 November 2019, with sixteen teams advancing to the second round. The second-round games began 26 November and will end 22 December 2019, with six teams qualifying for the regular season.



Regular seasonEdit

In the regular season, twelve teams play in two Conferences with six teams each. Each team will play five games, one against each opponent, inside its conference. The top three teams from each conference advance to the Super 6.[22] The games will be played in six arenas divided over the African continent.[22] The regular season will start in March 2020.

Nile ConferenceEdit

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Qualification   USM   FAP   RIV   FER   ZAM   PAT
1   US Monastir 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Playoffs
2   FAP 0 0 0 0 0 0
3   Rivers Hoopers 0 0 0 0 0 0
4   Ferroviário de Maputo 0 0 0 0 0 0
5   Zamalek 0 0 0 0 0 0
6   Patriots 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 13 March 2020. Source: FIBA

Sahara ConferenceEdit

Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Qualification   GSP   GNB   DOU   ASS   POL   PET
1   GS Pétroliers 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Playoffs
2   GNBC 0 0 0 0 0 0
3   AS Douanes 0 0 0 0 0 0
4   AS Salé 0 0 0 0 0 0
5   AS Police 0 0 0 0 0 0
6   Petro de Luanda 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 20 March 2020. Source: FIBA


The season concludes with the play-offs which will be played in the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.[23]




  1. ^ "NBA, FIBA launching 12-team league in Africa; Barack Obama to have hands-on role". USA TODAY.
  2. ^ "Basketball Africa League postpones start of inaugural season". NBA.com. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "NBA's Basketball Africa League Reveals Seven Host Cities for Inaugural Season". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  4. ^ "FIBA Press Release - February 15, 2020: Basketball Africa League announces the 12 teams that will compete in inaugural season".
  5. ^ "BAL Conferences are drawn: Nile and Sahara Conference". 20 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Basketball Africa League postpones start of inaugural season". NBA.com. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^ "BAL inaugural season postponed to 2021". The New Times. 12 November 2020.
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  14. ^ a b "Who are the five new head coaches in the Basketball Africa League?". FIBA. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  15. ^ "AS Police captain Samake: They'll respect us at BAL". FIBA. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  16. ^ "GSP coach Boulahia: We will be outsiders at the BAL". 1 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Report: Murray will be new Patriots coach". BAL Report. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Angolan champions Petro de Luanda hire Brazilian Jose Neto as new head coach". FIBA. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Meet Union Sportive Monastir's new head coach Safouene Ferjani". FIBA. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Donald Rashaad Singleton en renfort de la GNBC – Midi Madagasikara". 26 February 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Lagos ready to take over Surulere National Stadium – Ambode". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  22. ^ a b "NBA's Basketball Africa League Gets One Step Closer To Reality With Announcement Of Host Cities". Forbes. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Rwanda to host NBA's Africa League final". The East African. Retrieved 11 November 2019.