Having been handed a less than favourable draw in the third edition of of Basketball Africa League (BAL) Season 3 tipping off by March 11 – 21, 2023, head Coach of Nigeria’s flagbearer at Africa Largest Club Basketball showpiece, Baba Jubril of the Kwara Falcons conceded that his side is unperturbed by the quality of teams in the Sahara Conference in Dakar.
Coach Baba submitted that having earned the right to qualify for the championship, Falcons won’t be intimidated by the quality of oppositions in Dakar, and affirmed that carrying the rookie tag might play an advantage for his side when they take to the court.
“Every team ambition is to go to the championship and do well. Of all the teams competing, we seems to be among the minors which for me is an advantage because oppositions wouldn’t have a full clue of what to expect from us and having played in that region during my playing days, I fully know what to expect from majority of the oppositions”, he concluded.
In the draws made available by BAL, Falcons will have its hand full having been pitted alongside US Monastir of Tunisia, Abidjan Basketball Club of Ivory Coast, As Douanes of Senegal, Stade Malien of Mali and R.E.G of Rwanda.
US Monastir, Tunisia champions, won the 2022 edition of the BAL and were runners up in first edition and are arguably one of the finest club on the continent tutored by a foreigner.
Abidjan Basketball Club of Ivory coast will make their second appearance at BAL having appeared at the last edition and went out at the quarter-final stage.
For, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) Basketball, they qualified to the last eight of the 2022 BAL edition and reclaim the Rwanda Basketball League title edging Patriots which earned them a direct slot to the 2023 Basketball Africa League.
Stade Malien, will be playing in the championship for the first time having battled it’s way through the road to BAL qualifying tournament in Niamey.
Currently among the lowest ranked side in BAL, Falcons qualified for the tournament last November, beating Customs in the finals of the Nigeria Basketball Premier Basketball League Final eight in Lagos. Prior to that, they had won the Sam Oguche Bullet Championship and recently, added the Louis Edem Invitational Tournament to complete a clean swoop of trophies to undoubtedly became the finest club in the Country.
Hope to upset the likes of US Monastir, Abidjan Basketball Club, As Douanes, Stade Malien and R.E.G for a shot at progressing for what should be an exciting run of games in Group A is high on the radar.
The youthful and dynamic Falcons team will also look to improve on arch-rivals, Rivers Hoopers outing at the 2021 edition where the Kings men won one of three group games.