16 October, 2019
22 December
Said El Bouzidi (MAR)
to read

Who are the five new head coaches in the Basketball Africa League?

ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - As the Basketball Africa League (BAL) tries to find a workable plan for its inaugural season, some of the teams spent the past few months making important adjustments to their rosters and coaching staff.

The start of BAL's first edition has been suspended since March following the outspread of the coronavirus, a decision that forced clubs to review and, in some cases, keep new players' contracts on hold.

However, for five of the 12 BAL teams, it's been a busy few months as they brought in new coaching teams. 

The majority of the teams signing new coaching staff secured automatic qualification to BAL's Regular Season. According to BAL's regulations the champions of Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia qualify automatically to the BAL's regular season while the remaining six teams come from a a 30 plus-team qualifiers.

Zamalek Basket, who qualified to the first BAL edition as the 2019 Egyptian champions, signed Tarek Slim, who replaced Essam abd El Hamid at the helm of the historic Egyptian basketball club.

In Northwest Africa, Bouzidi El Said (main photo) returned to the helm of Morocco champions Association Sportive Sale.

Three years ago, he inspired Association Sportive de Sale to the title of the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup.

El Said, who has recently coached the Moroccan national team, replaced Serbian Zeljko Zecevic.

Still in the North Africa, Oualid Zrida is the new coach of Union Sportive Monastir.

Oualid Zrida coached his country at the FIBA Africa U18 Championship 2016 in Kigali

In just a few months in charge of Union Monastir Zrida propelled his new team to a double success, winning the Tunisian League and the National Cup in a ten-day span. 

Zrida, who has served been an assistant coach to the Tunisian men's team, built the Monastir squad based on seven Tunisian internationals. 

Since 2012 when he took over, Lazare Adingono led Petro de Luanda  to domestic and continental success

In Angola, Petro de Luanda have reportedly been looking for a substitute to Lazare Adingono, who guided the Angolan reigning champions to the 2015 FIBA Africa Champions Cup. 

According to sources close to the club, Petro Atletico de Luanda's new coach is expected to be announced soon.

Dean Murray (Patriots Basketball) is seen here coaching Bahrain side Al Muharraq at 2019 FIBA Asia Champions Cup  

Meanwhile, Patriots Basketball of Rwanda, who reached the BAL's regular season thanks to a 9-0 mark in the Qualifiers, signed American Dean Murray as their new head coach.

Murray, who replaced Carey Francis Odhiambo, will be assisted by Bernard 'Ben' Oluoch from Kenya, and Burundian Olivier Ndayiragije. 

According to Patriots General Manager Brian Kirungi, right now "only two players are on trial, Adonis Fller and Bush Wamukota, the rest are on  hold."

These are the 2020 BAL's Regular Season teams: Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique), GNBC (Madagascar), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Petro de Luanda (Angola), AS Douanes (Senegal), AS Police (Mali), FAP (Cameroon), Union Sportive Monastir (Tunisia), Association Sportive Sale (Morocco), GSP (Algeria)Patriots Basketball (Rwanda) and Zamalek Basketball (Egypt).