03 October, 2023
26 November
10 Solo Diabate (LBA)
05/11/2023
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Which West Division team will secure the last ticket for the 2024 BAL season?

 

YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - Two tickets have been taken, only one is left! This is the scenario in the last day of West Division Elite 16.

Which team between Al Ahly Benghazi and FAP will qualify for the fourth edition of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on Sunday, November 5? 

Things didn't go according to plan for Benghazi and FAP who fell short in Saturday's Semi-Finals as both sides lost to Bangui Sporting Club and FUS Rabat, respectively, but they still have a chance.

CLICK HERE to watch the game at 19:00 GMT+1.

Bangui and Rabat have now joined six other teams who qualified directly to the BAL. Those teams are reigning BAL champions Al Ahly Sporting Club (Egypt), AS Douanes (Senegal), Petro de Luanda (Angola), APR (Rwanda), US Monastir (Tunisia) and the champion of the Nigerian League which is yet to be determined. 

Benghazi and FAP have a superb second chance to join the elite of Africa's basketball, but first they need to do better this time round.

When Benghazi and FAP faced each other four days ago, the former prevailed 86-77. Can the Libyan champions do it again?

Here's a moment of the match between FAP and Al Ahly Benghazi on November 1, 2023 

Some observers tend to describe Third-Place matches of the Elite 16 as probably the most important ones of the Road to BAL qualifiers for many reasons, but the most important of all is the fact that it's a do-or-die situation for two teams that have probably made massive investments to boast a BAL badge.

After reaching the Semi-Final of the Elite 16 unscathed with a 2-0 mark, Benghazi seemed destined to reach the final day of the ongoing qualifier in Yaounde with a perfect record. Instead the Libyan champions are headed to the decisive encounter with a 2-1 record, and, if they step on the floor relatively passive as was the cause in the last seconds of the match against Bangui, then their BAL dream may be seriously compromised.

Comparatively, Benghazi count on a more talented roster than FAP, but as the saying goes, the game isn't over until it's over. 

Zachary Lofton

Souleyman Diabate, Zachary Lofton, Sofian Hamad and Chris Crawford are natural scorers, however, a thorough look into FUS Rabat and Bangui's Semi-Finals victories show that a balanced defense and offense game can be rewarded with BAL tickets.

FAP's fanbase has been incredible showing up to support their heroes, but the extra energy, somehow, hasn't translated into victories when the Cameroonian champions need them most.

FAP v Al Ahly Benghazi

Reaching the Third-Place game with a 1-2 mark isn't probably the most encouraging scenario for FAP, but it's now for the likes of  Arnod Kome, Ettiene Tametong Cyrile Liale to try and carry the four-time Cameroon champions to new heights.

Unlike FAP who featured in the first two editions of the BAL, Al Ahly Benghazi are hunting for their first-ever BAL ticket, and subsequently try to become the first Libyan club to join the elite of African basketball clubs.

FIBA