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Petro de Luanda earn right to represent Angola at Basketball Africa League 2020-21
LUANDA - The Angolan Basketball Federation (FAB) on Thursday confirmed Petro de Luanda as the country's representative at next year's Basketball Africa League (BAL).
Thursday's announcement followed FAB's decision to cancel the 2019-20 Angolan Basketball League season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaders of the regular season with 49 points when the league was abruptly stopped two months ago, the reigning champions argued they should be crowned champions this season's champions.
Devido ao crescente número de casos #coronavirus e #COVID19 em todo o mundo, a Federação Angolana de Basquetebol #FAB suspendeu o Campeonato Nacional senior masculino e a Taça de #Angola por tempo indeterminado.— Angola Basketball (@AngolanBasket) March 19, 2020
O Petro lidera a Liga com 49 pontos. D'Agosto é 2ndo com 44 pontos. pic.twitter.com/RQltOP6z7J
However, FAB ruled against Petro's intentions, although the Angola basketball's governing body ensured Petro the right to represent the country at next year's BAL.
According to BAL's regulations, the champions of one of six countries - Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia - have automatic qualification to BAL's regular season while other countries's representative need to play a qualifying round to complete the 12-team BAL regular season.
The inaugural BAL season was due to start in March, but it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winners of last year's FIBA Africa's Basketball League, Primeiro D'Agosto and InterClube de Luanda trailed Petro de Luanda by four points.
Congratulations Primeiro de Agosto!A special evening and celebration of basketball at the @FIBA @AfricaLeague Final in Luanda, Angola with @officialmutombo @olumideoyedeji1 and @LuolDeng9! pic.twitter.com/CUz2OWAylH— NBA Africa (@NBA_Africa) May 26, 2019
Explaining the impact of COVID-19 in the Angolan Basketball, FAB noted: "Given the current [health] circumstances, and in compliance with FAB's status, the 2019-20 winners of the Angolan Basketball League and winners of the Angolan Cup will not be awarded.
FAB's statement continued: "Petro Atletico de Luanda secure the right to represent Angola at BAL 2020-21 season."
FAB went on to explain that later in the year it will organise a competition to promote new teams from the second-tier division to the 2020-21 Angolan Basketball League.
Petro de Luanda won their second FIBA Africa Champions title back in 2015 in Luanda, Angola, after beating fellow Angolan side Recreativo do Libolo.