03 October, 2023
26 November
13 Ermelindo Novela (CFM), 23 Motheo Tsele (DOL)
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Road to BAL: Group D's chase for the Elite 16 begins


GABORONE (Botswana) - Four teams in Group D of the Road to BAL will do battle between Saturday, 21 October until  Monday, 23 October at the University of Botswana Indoor Arena for a  chance to qualify for the Elite 16.

Dolphins Basketball Club will welcome UNAM Wolves (Namibia), Munali Suns (Zambia) and JBC (Zimbabwe).  

The fifth team, Brave Hearts of Malawi, withdrew at the last minute. 

On the court, the four teams contending for the only spot on offer for  the Elite 16 Division East in Johannesburg, South Africa (14 November - 19 November) should now be raring to go. 


Dolphins (Botswana)

Team coach Trynos Moyo and seven players who played in the Road to BAL 2020 qualifiers are still part of the team.

The Dolphins coach will be happy with the continuity, but without experienced international players, the hosts might struggle to qualify for the Elite 16. The likes of big man Bushe Ramabu brings scoring and rebounding acumen to the team. Kesaobaka Ndawanyana, a 3X3 specialist, has developed into a potent weapon in attack.

UNAM Wolves (Namibia)

The Namibian club will return with some players who campaigned in 2019 for the Lion Basketball Club. One of those players is Michael Mukumbuta, who, at 34, is now a veteran.

Mukumbuta had a high production four years ago, scoring 16 points per game, crashing 14.8 rebounds per game and providing 3.6 assists. If Mukumbuta can come close to those types of stats, the Wolves might have a fighting chance.

The lack of international experience in their ranks might also hinder their progress.

Munali Suns (Zambia)

The Suns are debuting at this stage of the BAL qualifiers, but with Titus Mapani, Harrison Banda and Paul Kashishi in their squad, they will not be short on experience. The Zambian club also roped in two Americans, Joshua Thomas and Alfred Hollins, to help secure them a spot in the Elite 16.

JBC (Zimbabwe)

Another debutant, JBC, has gone all out to secure top-notch talent to help them become the first team from Zimbabwe to progress to the Elite 16.

Saul Phiri and Tafadzwa Tela are both based in the United States, while Tyjhai Byers, who recently joined the team, is from the US. 

The trio, along with the local talent, will be expected to help in JBC's push for a spot at the Elite 16.

Group D Fixtures:

21 October
5.30pm: UNAM Wolves vs Munali Suns

8pm: Dolphins vs JBC

22 October

5:30pm: JBC vs UNAM Wolves

8pm: Munali Suns vs Dolphins

23 October

5.30pm: Munali Suns vs JBC

 8pm: Dolphins vs UNAM Wolves