Mombasa to host inaugural Basketball Africa League

Mombasa will host the preliminary round of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), which is open to six maritime countries from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1.

A total of 48 countries will be involved in the road to Basketball Africa League with eight regional groups marked to host the preliminary round.

Vitalis Gode, the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) secretary, said on Thursday in Nairobi that the tournament has attracted six nations with the two finalists assured of a ticket to the main Basketball Africa League which will be hosted in six different African cities in March 2020.

Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Djibouti, and host Kenya will battle it out for the chance to proceed to the next round in March.

"We are waiting for the word from FIBA Africa on the confirmation of teams. Once the teams' composition is determined, then we will be ready to go.

"However, should there be some withdrawal of teams, then this group may be reconstituted to include other regions," Gode told Xinhua on Thursday in Nairobi.

Alphonse Bile, the FIBA Africa Secretary-General, said the 12 qualified teams will play matches in Cairo, Dakar, Lagos, Luanda, Rabat and either Monastir or Tunis where the inaugural BAL regular season will take place.

Kenya will have Mombasa based club KPA, who are the reigning national league champions, take part in the BAL tournament. It will be the third time the coastal town will be hosting a regional championship. They hosted the 2014 Africa Club Championships for men and the 2016 Africa junior event.

Blessing Mwangi