11 October, 2022
27 November
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Tanzania takes centre stage as 4-team Group C battles for Elite 16 spots


DAR ES SALAAM (Tanzania) - After a change in the host country from Uganda to Tanzania, Group C of the 2022 Road to BAL tournament brings together East Africa's strongest teams and Southern African's Matero Magic of Zambia.

The four Group C teams will all be vying for a spot the in the Elite 16 leg of the Road to BAL tournament, which tips off on Friday.

FIBA.basketball looks at how the teams will shape up ahead of the competition.

Army Basketball Club (Tanzania)

The military outfit will be an unknown quantity in this tournament. After losing the Tanzanian league championship on Sunday, the Army Club will try and make amends with a good showing in the Road to BAL qualifiers.

They will look to shooting guard Baraka Sadick Athumani, who was a top scorer in the 2019 qualifiers with 25.3 points per game while playing for JKT. Athumani can also assume the playmaking role for the host club.

What could hinder the Tanzanians is that they have not reinforced the club with outside talent, which could impact their chances of progressing past the preliminary stage. They could rely on their sixth-man, their fans, for a boost in the tournament.

City Oilers (Uganda)

The Ugandan champions will have a bounce in their step after clinching another national league title in a gruelling seven-game series against Namuwongo Blazers three weeks ago.

They are no strangers to the BAL qualifiers, having featured in two preliminary tournaments and have one Elite 16 tournament appearance in 2019.

The Oilers have quality players in Uganda international, and team captain James Okello, guard Tony Drileba and Nigerian guard and forward Francis Azolibe provide a good core for the team.

The Mandy Juruni-coached Oilers have shown potential and will be favourites to win their preliminary qualifiers group.


The Burundian club will make their debut in the Road to BAL qualifiers. They have made appearances in the FIBA club competition scene before, so they are not a team to be underestimated.

Urunani have also tooled up for this campaign with experienced forward Landry Ndikumana providing stability in the front court. Explosive point guard Guibert Nijimbere will handle the ball distribution duties for the Burundi club.

The addition of well-travelled Spaniard Alvaro Calvo Masa further enhances Urunani's chances of advancing to the Elite 16.

Masa will provide a calming presence on the court and is a great scorer in clutch situations.

Ivory Coast international Adjehi Baru, who played in the inaugural BAL for Mozambique's Ferroivario De Maputo, will bolster Urunani's front-court.

Matero Magic

The Zambian club are a tournament dark-horses. Matero were in this phase of the tournament last year in South Africa and managed only a solitary victory against Mauritian club Roche-Bois Warriors.

With a thorough knowledge of what it takes to play continental basketball, the Zambian club will look to step up a notch this year. They will look for American shooting guard Jaylen Leroy is back to bolster the team. Leroy can be lethal from the three-point arc.

A sign of continuity for Matero is that they have kept the services have guards Chona Chongo, Augustine Kainda and Chansa Mfuawame. Their return to the team will help the team's chemistry and possibly progress to the Elite 16.