Basketball Africa League (BAL)

What to know for the Basketball Africa League playoffs

The Basketball Africa League returns for postseason play on May 24, with a new playoff format this season.

Rivers Hoopers point guard Will Perry hopes to bring a BAL championship back to Nigeria.

Following an exciting regular season, the Basketball Africa League returns for the playoffs.

Defending champions Al Ahly can cement themselves in the BAL history book by becoming the only team to repeat a title. However, their road won’t be the same as last season.

For the first time in league history, starting on May 24, there will be seeding games to decide playoff seeds. Then, rivals will attempt to dethrone the defending champs with elimination games beginning on May 29.

Here’s what we can expect this postseason. 

How do seeding games work?

Teams are ranked according to their performances and records against the top 3 teams in their conference to determine their seeds. Al Ahly (Egypt) is the top-ranked team after going 5-1 in the Nile Conference.

Al Ahly will face FUS Rabat (Morocco), who won three games in the Kalahari Conference. The winner will receive the No. 1 seed for the playoffs, while the loser gets the No. 2 seed.

The other seed games will follow a similar suit. The winner of each matchup receives the higher seed, and the losing team will fall to the lower seed. No team can be eliminated in these games.

The rankings get interesting with Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), AS Douanes (Senegal), Petro de Luanda (Angola) and US Monastir (Tunisia) all posting similar records. To determine the rest of the rankings, point differential is the deciding factor.

Rivers Hoopers had the best point differential with +17, followed by AS Douanes with +4. That slotted them into the No. 3 seed game and Petro and US Monastir into the No. 5 seed matchup.

Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya) and Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) tied towards the bottom of the top eight teams. Both teams will battle each other in the No. 7 seed game.

BAL seeding games

  • Seed 1 decider: Al Ahly (Egypt) v FUS Rabat (Morocco)
  • Seed 3 decider: Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria) v AS Douanes (Senegal)
  • Seed 5 decider: Petro de Luanda (Angola) v US Monastir (Tunisia)
  • Seed 7 decider: Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya) v Cape Town Tigers (South Africa)

How do the playoffs work?

The playoffs will be a normal single-elimination tournament with the following matchups:

  • No. 1 vs. No. 8
  • No. 2 vs. No. 7
  • No. 3 vs. No. 6
  • No. 4 vs. No. 5

It is survive and advance. Win or go home.

All seeding games and knockout fixtures will be at Kigali’s BK Arena in Rwanda, with the championship game on June 1. There will also be a consolation game for third place before the final.

Where to watch

Catch all the playoff action on the NBA App and, starting with the seeding games on May 24. The NBA App will also have fans covered with highlights, recaps and all-access content.