Basketball Africa League names 12 teams, format changes for season starting in March

The Basketball Africa League announced on Tuesday the 12 teams slated to play during the 2022 season, the entire schedule and other changes to its season format.

Reigning BAL champion Egypt Zamalek, Angola Petro de Luanda, Morocco AS Sale, Rwanda's Rwanda Energy Group, Senegal Dakar Université Club and Tunisia US Monastir earned their participation in the season by winning their respective African leagues.

Cameroon F.A.P., the Democratic Republic of the Congo's BC Espoir Fukash, Guinea Seydou Legacy Athlétique Club, Mozambique CFV - Beira, South Africa Cape Town Tigers and South Sudan Cobra Sport secured their participation through the Road to BAL qualifying tournaments.

The BAL season opens with Dakar Université Club playing Seydou Legacy Athlétique Club on March 5 at the Dakar Arena in Dakar, Senegal.

"We are thrilled to welcome seven new teams and four new countries into the second season of the BAL," BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall said. "Defending Champion Zamalek will anchor the five returning teams, after representing the BAL in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup this month in Cairo.

"The competition to bring home the 2022 BAL Championship Trophy is heating up, and we are excited that more fans will have an opportunity to watch the games live in three world-class African cities. To BAL fans across the continent and around the world."

This season will include 38 games also taking place in Cairo and in Kigali, Rwanda, over three months. The 12 teams, including those five teams from the inaugural BAL season in 2021, will 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 March 5-15 at the Dakar Arena, and the Nile Conference's group phase will take place April 9-19 at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo.

The top four teams from each conference will qualify for the BAL playoffs May 21-28 at Kigali Arena, with the playoffs featuring a single-elimination tournament.