03 October, 2023
26 November
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It's Semi-Finals Day in Johannesburg!


JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - By the end of Saturday's East Division Elite 16 action, two teams will have qualified for the fourth Basketball Africa League (BAL) season while two others will have a second and last chance to secure the last ticket on offer on Sunday.

It's the Semi-Finals day in Johannesburg where eight teams have gathered for the past five days, but only four remain in contention for the last three tickets for the next edition of the BAL.

It's understandable that fans, players, coaches and everyone else following this fierce battle for Africa's premier basketball clubs competition wonder, who will make it?

At first glance, the only two teams - City Oilers and Cape Town Tigers - that reached the semis undefeated, look strong enough to ensure their BAL tickets outright, however, Elite 16 playoff games bring lots of uncertainty.

Both Tigers and Oilers qualified to the Elite 16 by virtue of appearing in the BAL Season 3. COSPN and Dynamo, meanwhile, have started their BAL qualifiers campaigns in the preliminary round in October.

So FIBA.basketball brings you fact files to help you pick your potential winners of this Elite 16 Semi-Finals series. 

City Oilers vs Dynamo (14:00 GMT+2)

Nine-time Ugandan champions City Oilers are headed to the decisive semis with a perfect 3-0 mark, having beaten everyone they faced in Group B, which included Ferroviario da Beira, COSPN and JBC.

Dynamo, on the other hand, could only ensure their spot in the Last Four in the last game of the Group Phase. And what game it was! They needed a double overtime to see off Pazi Basketball Club, a team they had lost to in the preliminary round of the Road to BAL last month.

Unlike City Oilers, Dynamo came up short against NBA Academy Africa and Cape Town Tigers before upsetting Pazi, who landed in Joburg as one of the front-runners for the three BAL tickets in contention.

Israel Otobo has been extremely impactful for Dynamo, averaging team-highs 16.6 points and 15.3 rebounds in 3 Elite 16 games 

Oilers and Dynamo aren't necessarily unfamiliar to each other. When the two East African sides faced off in the preliminary round of the Road to BAL in 2019 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, City Oilers  prevailed 71-57.

Some members of the current Oilers' roster - including Robinson Opong, James Okello and  Tonny Drileba - and Dynamo's  Bienvenu Ndikuriyo were part of that 2019 clash.

Fast forward to 2023 and both coaches are still at the helm with Mandy Juruni in charge of City Oilers while coach Olivier Ndayiragije is calling plays for Dynamo.

Parrish Petty (pictured) and Dane Miller are the go-to men for City Oilers, with the former averaging a team-high of 16.6 points per game 

In terms of personnel, both teams display balanced rosters although City Oilers seem to count on more scoring options than Dynamo.

City Oilers, look better on paper, and if stats from their last three games are anything to go by, the Kampala-based side might become the first East Division team to book their tickets to the BAL 2024.

Take a thorough look below into the stats that separate City Oilers from Dynamo and make your judgement:

A City Oilers win would mean a return to the BAL for the  second straight time while a Dynamo win would be a historic moment for Burundian basketball as no team from the country has ever appeared in the BAL before. 


Cape Town Tigers vs COSPN (17:00 GMT+2)

If the Tigers are to qualify for the BAL for the third time in a row, on Saturday, the South African champions will need to be more aggressive in the painted area where COSPN are masters in destroying opponents.

Cape Town are yet to taste defeat after three games, while Malagasy champions COSPN are on a two-game winning streak after losing to City Oilers on Gameday 1. 

Samuel Adewunmi (3) and Bishop Coulter (50) have been crucial for COSPN

COSPN and Tigers will face off in the Elite 16 for the very first time.

While Cape Town hold a successful track record in the Elite 16, COSPN debuted in the competition with three straight losses last year.

Find below some key stats that separate Cape Town Tigers from COSPN and make your judgement:


COSPN are looking to become the second Malagasy team - since GNBC in 2021 - to qualify for the BAL.