Urunani v Beira; Cape Town v City Oilers (East Division PREVIEW)
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) Four teams remain from the gruelling Road To BAL Division East Group F qualifiers at the Ellis Park Arena and on Saturday, two will realise their BAL dreams.
The Cape Town (South Africa), City Oilers (Uganda), Urunani (Burundi) and Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique) are going to do battle for the two automatic qualifying spots for BAL 2023. The losers from the Semi-Finals will have a final chance to fight it out for the last available qualifying spot in the third-place playoff game on Sunday.
Here's what you need to know ahead of the Semi-Finals.
Urunani vs Ferroviario Da Beira (14:30 GMT+2)
Urunani will look to make history by becoming the first club from Burundi to qualify for the BAL and have the quality pieces in their line-up to achieve that dream. They will also step into the semi-final, brimming with confidence after beating the Cape Town Tigers in the final game of Group A.
Star point guard Adonis Filer is the head of Urunani's attack, and it's a role he has thrived in at these qualifiers. The skilful Filer can fearlessly attack the lanes and should opposing defenders give him space from three-point range. He will rarely miss.
Ferroviario da Beira must put the disappointment of losing their final Group B game against City Oilers behind them and find a way to beat Urunani. Beira will stick to their style of playing team basketball, but point guard Will Perry can provide a creative spark whenever the Mozambican club need it.
Cape Town Tigers V City Oilers (17:00 GMT+)
Cape Town Tigers will have used the day off on Friday to restore their confidence after losing their final group game against Urunani on Thursday.
What could be concerning for Tigers is the tendency to let opposition build a sizeable leads against them. They managed to close gap against Kenya Ports Authority, but it was not the case with Urunani.
The South African side will also hope that South Sudanese point guard Dhieu Deng will have recovered in time from his ankle sprain. The Tigers missed Deng's playmaking and scoring ability, and his return would be welcome with open arms.
City Oilers will feel that this is their year to qualify for the BAL, and if their play on the court is anything to go by, they are a team determined to reach the continental showpiece.
The acquisition of Falando Cortez Jones for these qualifiers has proven to be a masterstroke for the Oilers. Jones' passion and vocal leadership on the court for the Ugandan club has been beneficial to the Ugandan club. The fact that Jones has the game to back up his personality attributes is also a major plus for the Oilers.