FIBA Africa Basketball League 2019 returns for Group D action - Who, What, Where?
ANTANANARIVO (Madagascar) - After thrilling games last week in Cairo, FIBA Africa Basketball League (ABL) action returns this weekend for Group D, taking place in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
FIBA.basketball explains who is involved, what is at stake, where all the action will be taking place and a lot more.
⬇ SAVE THE DATE ⬇— Africa Basketball League (@AfricaLeague) January 23, 2019
GROUP C: Cairo, Egypt 🇪🇬 - Feb 8-10
GROUP D: Antananarivo 🇲🇬 - Feb 15-17
GROUP A : Sale, Morocco 🇲🇦 - March 1-3
GROUP B: Cotonou, Benin 🇧🇯 - March 8-10#AfricaLeague #RoundOf16 #AlAhly #COSPN #ASS #ELAN pic.twitter.com/EbCeZVSpLT
How to watch the games ?
Click here for all FIBA ABL Group D games, which will be livestreamed on FIBA Youtube channel.
Media Accreditation ?
COSPN media team in partnership with FIBA Africa will be responsible for issuing media accreditations.
Whats at stake ?
It's the second qualifying window of the FIBA ABL 2019. Each game will be treated like a final for each team.
The four contenders will play a total of three games each, and all games will be like finals, mainly because the teams that finish in the top two places earn the right to advance to the Elite 8 knock out stage.
Antananarivo loves basketball
Expect crazy and rowdy crowds at Palais de Sports Mahamasina in Antananarivo, where hosts Club Omnisport Police Nationale (COSPN), Smouha Sporting Club (Egypt), Petro Atletico de Luanda (Angola) and ASB Mazembe (DR Congo) will do battle from Friday 15 February until Sunday 17 February.
Malagasy fans are known as some of the most passionate and enthusiast to the game of basketball across Africa.
There hasn't been a continental championship held in Madagascar that locals fans disappointed. They cheer, they sang, and more importantly, they respect the game.
COSPN - The Malagasy side reached the Final Round of FIBA ABL as winners of FIBA Africa Zone 7 champions. In build-up to Group D's action, COSPN made a number of significant signings including the arrival of head coach Julien Chaignot, and two players Frenchman Alpha Toure and Tunisian guard Mohamed Mzoughi.
COSPN getting ready for next week's #AfricaLeague action on home soil! 🇲🇬💪— Africa Basketball League (@AfricaLeague) February 10, 2019
📽 Prodcom #Madagascar pic.twitter.com/5tS9kN7DV3
ASB MAZEMBE - Congolese won their two games against local rivals ASB Terreur and following the withdrawal of Equatorial Guinea teams San Antonio and Jet 7 Nguema, they secured FIBA Africa Zone 4's spot for the FIBA ABL.
The Congolese side claimed a 2-5 mark at FIBA Africa Champions 2017, failing to advance to the knock out phase.
SMOUHA SC - The Alexandria-based side finished second at FIBA Africa Zone 5 qualifier, and will be making their debut on the continent's clubs flagship basketball tournament.
Madagascar!! We are coming🏀🤩@AfricaLeague #AfricaLeague #POA #فخر_اسكندرية pic.twitter.com/cLp8GJUwez— Smouha SC (@SmouhaOfficial) February 12, 2019
The team is coached by Ashraf Tawfiq.
PETRO ATLETICO DE LUANDA - The Angolans have become regular at FIBA Africa club competitions, and manage to win the FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2015 held in their city of Luanda.
Coached by Cameroonian Lazare Adingono, they qualified to the Final Round of the FIBA ABL after finishing second in the regional FIBA Africa Zone 6 qualifier in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Players to watch
COSPN's Livio Ratianarivo has become a household name in Africa in recent years. And he cemented his credentials after being named MVP at FIBA Africa Zone 7 qualifier.
Even though the FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2015 winners haven't signed an import player for Group D action, they will rely on a number of Angolan internationals namely Olimpio Cipriano, Leonel Paulo and 2016 FIBA Africa U18 champion Childe Dundao, who continues to make his case as a potential star.
Childe Dundao (Petro Atletico de Luanda/Angola)
Both James Justice and Marwan Mohamed were huge for Smouha Sporting Club during the regional FIBA Africa Zone 5 qualifier in Tanzania. The two led the Egyptians to their first-ever FIBA Africa competition appearance.
James Justice (Smouha SC/UAE)
Justice and Sarhan will be joined by new recruits Augustine Okosun and Adamu Saaka.