BAL 2024: Meet the four teams competing in the Nile Conference in Cairo

BAL 2024: How the Nile Conference shapes up ahead of season four return

The Nile Conference begins this Friday, signalling the resumption of the fourth season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), following the completion of the Kalahari Conference in March.

The Nile Conference, which will be played at the Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt, will take place from April 19–27, with four teams competing in the group phase.

Defending champions Al Ahly (Egypt), Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya), City Oilers (Uganda), and Bangui Sporting Club (Central African Republic) are all drawn in the conference, and Afrosport breaks down each of these teams, delving into their past records and how they qualified for this season’s tournament.

Al Ahly (Egypt)

Coach: Augustí Julbe

Best BAL performance: Winner (2023)

Egyptian basketball team, Al Ahly, are the hosts of the Nile Conference and also the current BAL champions, having overcome Senegal’s AS Douanes in the final in May 2023.

This will be their second BAL tournament following last year’s debut, when they won seven of their eight games. Al Ahly qualified for this season’s tournament after finishing as the Egyptian Super League champion in the 2022-23 season.

Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya)

Coach: Aouen Monaem

Best BAL performance: Debut (2024)

The Libyan team will be making their debut in the BAL this season having qualified through the Road to BAL. They make history as the second first Libyan side to qualify to the BAL.

Al Ahly Benghazi finished atop Group A in the West Division’s Elite 16 campaign after winning their two games in the group. They lost to Bangui Sporting Club in the semi-final, before seeing off Cameroon’s FAP in the third-place playoff.

City Oilers (Uganda)

Coach: Andrew Tendo

Best BAL performance: Group phase (2023)

Like Egypt’s Al Ahly, City Oilers of Uganda, will be participating in their second BAL tournament, having previously reached the group phase in the 2023 edition.

The Oilers, who were bottom of the Nile Conference in the BAL’s third edition having lost four and won just one game, booked a spot in this season’s tournament as one of the six teams from the “Road to BAL” qualifying tournament.

They were in the East division Group B of the Elite 18, winning all their three games to progress to the semi-final. They beat Dynamo of Burundi in the last four before eventually losing to South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers in the final.

Bangui Sporting Club (Central African Republic)

Coach: Justin Serresse

Best BAL performance: Debut (2024)

Bangui Sporting Club are the second debutant in the Nile Conference of this season’s BAL tournament alongside Libya’s Al Ahly Benghazi.

They qualified through the Road to BAL as the West Division’s winner and are the first side from the Central African Republic to qualify for the BAL.

Bangui Sporting Club finished in second place in Group B of the West Division’s Elite 16 campaign after winning two games and losing one in the group. They defeated Al Ahly Benghazi in the semi-final, before seeing off Morocco’s FUS de Rabat in the final.

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