The president of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), Amadou Gallo Fall, has said that the upcoming edition of the tournament promises to be “the most competitive yet.” He made the remarks in Utah State, USA, on Saturday, February 18, during the African luncheon, an annual event organized by NBA African and the BAL to celebrate the game of basketball in Africa. The event brings together philanthropists, executives, business leaders, partners and stakeholders. Addressing the attendees, Fall brought BAL to their attention, only a few weeks before the 2023 season starts, and described it as one that “promises to be our most competitive season yet.” The BAL 2023 edition will be taking place in Dakar, Senegal; Cairo Egypt and Kigali, Rwanda, as the sites from which a total of 38 games will be played from conferences to the finals. It will again feature 12 top club champions from 12 African countries with first action starting with Sahara Conference which is due Dakar from March 11. The teams featured in Sahara Conference will play a 15-game group phase at the Dakar Arena in Dakar from March 11-21 while Nile Conference will also see a 15-game group phase played at the Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo from April 26 to May 6. The top four teams from each of the two conferences will advance to an eight-game, single elimination playoffs and finals at BK Arena in Kigali from May 21-27. BAL already going miles Fall also reflected on a few of the tournament’s accomplishments over the first two seasons after which Egypt’s Zamalek and Tunisia’s US Monastir were crowned Champions respectively. “Our first two seasons reached fans in more than 200 countries and territories, including all 54 African countries, and generated more than 600 million online engagements,” he said. “The caravan format we envisioned when we launched BAL has allowed more fans to experience the excitement of the league up close and in-person, culminating with a sold-out crowd of 10,000 at last year’s Finals in Kigali,” he added. He noted that, as the level of competition and talent in the league continue to improve, several of those players have since gone on to attend NCAA Division I schools in the United States or sign with NBA G League Ignite, “which demonstrates the predictable pathway we’ve created for African prospects to maximize their potential.” Given how much has been achieved during the past two seasons, Fall is even more positive that the third season will build on this positive momentum. Five teams will make their BAL debuts, including two from countries that will be represented for the first time in Côte d’Ivoire’s Abidjan Basket Club and Uganda’s City Oilers. “Overall, we firmly believe the BAL will be one of the top professional leagues outside North America. And most importantly, we are driving economic growth in the communities where we operate, inspiring and connecting people across Africa, and shining a light on the continent’s capacity to be a global leader,” he added. Rwanda will be represented by Rwanda Energy Group (REG), who were the champions of last season.