NBA’s Basketball Africa League to tip off with Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers taking on hosts Patriots

NBA’s  Basketball Africa League to tip off with Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers taking on hosts Patriots

Basketball Africa League

Basketball Africa League
Basketball Africa League.svg
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Organising body National Basketball Association (NBA)
Founded 16 February 2019; 2 years ago
First season 2021
Confederation FIBA Africa
Divisions 2
Number of teams 12
President Amadou Gallo Fall
TV partners ESPN Africa
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2021 BAL season

The Basketball Africa League’s opening game will see Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers take on home side the Patriots, as the long-awaited NBA-affiliated tournament tips off in Kigali, Rwanda, on May 16.

The BAL, which will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN in Africa (DStv 218), will see 12 teams compete in three groups of four, then a three-round knock out phase, culminating in the Finals on May 30.

Champions from the national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia earned their participation in the inaugural season. The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by the FIBA Regional Office Africa across the continent in late 2019.

The Basketball Africa League (BAL) is Africa’s premier men’s basketball league scheduled to begin play in May 16, 2021, though it was originally going to be played on March 13, 2020.  The league consists of twelve teams, each qualified through their domestic competition, similar to the formats of the UEFA Champions League and Africa Basketball League.  The league is a joint effort between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and FIBA with sponsorship from Nike, Jordan Brand and Pepsi.

Its inaugural season started with the qualifying rounds in October 2019 and the regular season in May 2021. The competition replaces FIBA’s Africa Basketball League as the continent’s top-tier league.

BAL president, Amadou Gallo Fall, announced at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game Africa Luncheon in Chicago, that the season will tip off on March 13.  At the event, Nike and Jordan unveiled the official jerseys for the twelve teams (six of the teams will be outfitted by Nike and the other six by Jordan). The BAL also launched the league’s official website and social media accounts.

The inaugural season was postponed on March 3, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 29, 2021, it was announced that the inaugural season would start on May 16, 2021, and would end on May 30.



All 2021 Basketball Africa League games will take place at Kigali Arena in Rwanda.

May 16: Rivers Hoopers @ Patriots B.B.C. (2:00 PM GMT)

May 17: A.S. Douanes @ G.S. Pétroliers (12:00 PM GMT)

May 17: Zamalek @ Ferroviaro de Maputo (3:30 PM GMT)

May 17: U.S. Monastir @ G.N.B.C. (7:00 PM GMT)

May 18: Atlético Petróleos de Luanda @ A.S. Police (3:30 PM GMT)

May 18: AS Salé @ F.A.P. (7:00 PM GMT)

May 19: G.N.B.C. @ Patriots B.B.C. (12:00 PM GMT)

May 19: Ferroviaro de Maputo @ A.S. Douanes (3:30 PM GMT)

May 19: Zamalek @ G.S. Pétroliers (7:00 PM GMT)

May 20: F.A.P. Atlético @ Petróleos de Luanda (12:00 PM GMT)

May 20: U.S. Monastir @ Rivers Hoopers (3:30 PM GMT)

May 20: AS Salé @ A.S. Police (7:00 PM GMT)

May 22: G.S. Pétroliers @ Ferroviaro de Maputo (12:00 PM GMT)

May 22: A.S. Douanes @ Zamalek (3:30 PM GMT)

May 22: Patriots B.B.C. @ U.S. Monastir (7:00 PM GMT)

May 23: G.N.B.C. @ Rivers Hoopers (12:00 PM GMT)

May 23: A.S. Police @ F.A.P. (3:30 PM GMT)

May 23: Atlético Petróleos de Luanda @ AS Salé (7:00 PM GMT)


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