Rwandan representatives, REG, and Basketball Africa League ((BAL) defending champions US-Monastir of Tunisia are among six teams drawn in the Sahara Conference group phase of the regular season of the BAL 2023 due from March 11-21 at Dakar Arena in Senegal. Aside from REG and US-Monastir, the Sahara Conference also features Kwara Falcons (Nigeria), Abidjan Basket Club (Côte d'Ivoire) AS Douanes (Senegal) and Stade Malien (Mali). Other six teams were pooled in the Nile Conference group phase that will take place at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo from April 26 to May 6. The Nile Conference will bring together debutants Al Ahly of host nation Egypt, Cape Town Tigers (South Africa), BAL 2022 runners-up Petro de Luanda (Angola), City Oilers (Uganda), Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique) and Seydou Legacy Athlétique Club (Guinea). 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 an 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,” he added. 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. On May 28 last year, US Monastir defeated Petro de Luanda to win the 2022 BAL finals in front of a fully-packed 10,000 seater BK Arena.