Africa Basketball League: Nigerian Teams Get Nail Biting Draws

Nigeria’s representatives at the inaugural FIBA Africa Basketball League, Rivers Hoopers and Civil Defenders, were handed tough opponents at the draw ceremony which involved 16 teams across Africa, held at the Hotel Pullman in Abidjan on Saturday.

Rivers Hoopers were drawn in Group A alongside defending champions of the continent, AS Sale of Morocco, JS Kairouan (Tunisia) and S.L.A.C (Guinea).

Whereas, Civil Defenders will face ES Rades of Tunisia, Zone 3 bronze winners, Elan Sportif (Benin) and BC Terreur (DR Congo).

The games will be played in a round robin format from February 8 – March 10 across different African cities. Window 1 will be played between February 8-10, Window 2; February 15-17, Window 3; March 1-3 while Window 4 will hold from March 8-10.

Top 2 teams from each group will advance to the elite 8, where clubs will be divided into 4 groups of 2 teams each played from March 22-April 14 in a home and away format.

The winners of the four groups will advance to the finals to be played from May 3-5.

Reacting to the draws, Rivers Hoopers’ head coach, Ogoh Odaudu admitted that they have their work cut out as they hope to pick one of the two slots from their group.

“It’s not an easy group we have the defending champions and another northern side from Tunisia. It’s not easy playing against these northern sides. We are going to put our act together and grab one of the slots from that group,” said Odaudu.

The draws in full;

Group A: AS Sale (Morocco), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), JS Kairouan (Tunisia) and S.L.A.C (Guinea)

Group B: ES Rades (Tunisia), Civil Defenders (Nigeria), Elan Sportif (Benin), BC Terreur (DR Congo)

Group C: Al Ahly (Egypt), Primeiro De Agosto (Angola) and Ferroviaro Beira (Mozambique) and R.E.G BBC (Rwanda)

Group D: Petro de Luanda (Angola), Smouha (Egypt), ASB Mazembe (DR Congo) and C.O.S.P.N (Madagascar)