DAKAR, SENEGAL – The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries that will compete in the 2023 BAL season, which will tip off on Saturday, March 11 at the Dakar Arena in Dakar, Senegal, and will once again feature a total of 38 games in Dakar; Cairo, Egypt and Kigali, Rwanda over three months in 2023. Fans can register their interest in tickets at BAL.NBA.com.
The 12 teams include defending BAL champion US Monastir (Tunisia) and five other teams returning from the 2022 season. Five teams will compete in the BAL for the first time, including the first BAL teams from Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda: Abidjan Basket Club (Côte d’Ivoire), Al Ahly (Egypt), City Oilers (Uganda), Kwara Falcons (Nigeria) and Stade Malien (Mali). AS Douanes (Senegal) returns to the BAL after participating in the inaugural season in 2021.
The season opener will feature AS Douanes taking on Abidjan Basket Club on March 11 at 4:00 p.m. GMT. US Monastir will begin its title defense on Sunday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. GMT against Stade Malien.
The 12 teams will once again be divided into two conferences – the Sahara Conference and the Nile Conference. Each conference will play a 15-game group phase during which each team will face the other five teams in its conference once. The Sahara Conference’s group phase will take place at the Dakar Arena from March 11-21, and the Nile Conference’s group phase will take place at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo from April 26 – May 6. The top four teams from each conference will qualify for the BAL Playoffs and Finals, which will feature a single-elimination tournament at BK Arena in Kigali from May 21-27.
“There is incredible momentum leading up to the third BAL season, and each of the 12 teams have fought hard to earn their spot through intense competition,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “We are very excited to see the on-court action tip off next month in Dakar and look forward to delivering world-class basketball and entertainment to our passionate fans across Africa and around the world.”
“We are thrilled to rollout what promises to be another exceptional BAL season,” said FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave. “Judging from the quality of the teams that qualified through the Road to the BAL tournaments which ended in November last year, we are confident that fans and viewers will be treated to top-tier basketball that reflects the caliber of the talent we have on the continent.”
Champions from the national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia earned their participation in the 2023 BAL season by winning their respective national leagues. The remaining six teams, which come from Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mozambique, South Africa, and Uganda, secured their participation through the Road to the BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Africa across the continent from October to November 2022.
The 2023 BAL season will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media, and social media. Rwanda Development Board, NIKE, Jordan Brand and Wilson will return as BAL Foundational Partners. The league’s roster of world-class marketing partners also includes Hennessy and Envol City.
On May 28, US Monastir defeated Petro de Luanda to win the 2022 BAL Finals in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,000 at BK Arena. The 2022 BAL season featured players from 23 countries across Africa, Europe, and the U.S, reached fans in 214 countries and territories in 14 languages – including all 54 African countries – and generated more than 600 million online engagements.
Click here for the complete 2023 BAL season game schedule. Additional details about the 2023 BAL season will be announced in the coming weeks.
About the BAL
The Basketball Africa League (BAL), a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA, is a professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa that completed its second season in May 2022. Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, the BAL builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA Africa has organized across the continent and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America. Fans can follow the BAL (@theBAL) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and register their interest in receiving more information at BAL.NBA.com.