11 October, 2022
27 November
10 Mamadou Keita (MLI)
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How four more teams advanced to the Elite 16 Round


NIAMEY/ANTANANARIVO (Niger/Madagascar) - Over the weekend four more teams qualified for the Elite 16 qualifying round for the Basketball Africa League (BAL), in what was an exhilarating moment of basketball played across two African cities.


There's been 12 games in the Road to BAL so far, and the last nine games from Groups A and D showed how competitive Elite 16 Round will be.

FIBA.basketball brings you a look back at the events in Niamey and Antananarivo.

In the Niger capital city of Niamey, four teams battled it out in Group A, while three other teams traded blows in Group D in Antananarivo, Madagascar. 

Eventually, Abidjan Basket Club (ABC) of Cote d'Ivoire and Stade Malien Bamako of Mali clinched the top two places from Group A, which ensured them automatic qualification to the decisive Elite 16 round. On the other hand, hosts AS Nigelec and Elan Coton were eliminated.

Joining ABC and Stade Malien were Madagascar champions COSPN - who recorded a perfect 2-0 -, and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) who finished 1-1 thanks to a win over Comoros Islands' Djabal Club.  

In Niamey, ABC started strong and finished even stronger, beating all their three opponents by an average of 23.3 points.

On Friday, October 21, the Ivorian champions - who once won the FIBA Africa Champions Cup - overcame Stade Malien Bamako in a nail-bitting 66-54 win.

Less than 24 hours later, ABC cruised to an 81-56 victory over hosts AS Nigelec before closing their Group A campaign with a comprehensive 89-56 demolition of Benin's Elan Coton Basket Club.  

And although ABC would rather praise the team effort, three of their players set themselves apart: Puerto Rico's Jorge Pacheco-Ortiz was the go-to man for the former African champions, and he responded accordingly. 

Pacheco-Ortiz averaged a team-high of 14 points per game. Another vital player for ABC was Mike Fofana who contributed 13,6 points per game. 

Veteran Stephane Konate proved once again that his 42 years of age are no more than a number as he proved a vital offensive weapon for ABC. 

Mamadou Keita, one of the few players in Group A who has featured in the BAL was phenomenal for the Stade Malien.

After a modest display in the opening game against ABC, the former AS Police guard stepped up when his team needed him most, averaging 16.5 points in the last two games. 

Souleymane Berthe and Aliou Diarra were equally valuable for the Malian champions, with the former recording 14.6 points per game. Diarra followed suit with his 12 points per game. 

Stade Malien advanced to the Elite 16 round on the back of a 2-1 mark. 

In Antananarivo, Elly Randriamampionona, Livio Ratianarivo and Alpha Solondrainy sparked Club Omnisports Police Nationale (COSPN) to stellar displays throughout the two-game series.

Randriamampionona, a household name in African basketball, recalled everyone why he can't be left unguarded from beyond the three-point line.

No wonder the 25-year-old, who was specially recruited from local rivals GNBC for the qualification process to the BAL, ended up with team-highs 19.5 points and 5 assists per game.  

Ratianarivo made his presence felt with 15.5 points and a team-best 12 rebounds per game. 


Group E (Abidjan, (COTE D'IVOIRE) in November: AS Sale (Morocco), FAP (Cameroon), SLAC (Guinea - *TBD), Bangui Sporting Club (Central African Republic), Nueva Era (Equatorial Guinea), Abidjan Basket Club (Cote d'Ivoire), Stade Malien (Mali). 

Group F (SOUTH AFRICA) November 22-27): Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique), Cape Town Tigers (South Africa), Cobra Sports (TBD), COSPN (Madagascar), Kenya Ports Authority (Kenya). The teams that finish in the top two places of Groups C will be added to Group F.