Rivers Hoopers, Civil Defenders to battle North African sides
Just as Enugu Rangers have been grouped alongside two North African teams in the CAF Confederation Cup, Nigeria’s flag bearers in the inaugural FIBA Africa Basketball League (FIBA ABL), Rivers Hoopers and Civil Defenders have been drawn against teams from the Maghreb region.
Rivers Hoopers, which is in Group A in the ABL Championship, will face defending champions, AS Sale of Morocco, JS Kairouan of Tunisia and S.L.A.C of Guinea, while Civil Defenders are in Group B alongside ES Rades of Tunisia, Elan Sportif of Benin and BC Terreur of DR Congo.
16 teams from across Africa featured in the draws held at the Hotel Pullman, Abidjan.
According to the organisers, the games will be played in a round robin format from February 8 to March 10 across different African cities.
Window one is between February 8 to 10, Window 2 (February 15 to17), Window 3 (March 1 to 3), while Window 4 will hold from March 8 to10.
Top teams from each group will advance to the elite eight, where clubs will be divided into four groups of two teams each. The games will be played from March 22 to April 14 on a home and away format.
The winners of the four groups will advance to the finals to be played from May 3 to 5.
Reacting to the draws, Rivers Hoopers Head Coach, Ogoh Odaudu admitted that the group fixtures would not be easy for his team.
“It’s not an easy group because we have the defending champions and another northern side from Tunisia.
“It is not easy playing against these North African sides. We are going to put our act together and grab one of the slots from that group,” he said.
In other pools, Al Ahly (Egypt) will battle Primeiro De Agosto (Angola), Ferroviaro Beira (Mozambique) and R.E.G BBC (Rwanda) in Group C, while to fight in Group D are Petro de Luanda of Angola, Smouha of Egypt, ASB Mazembe (DR Congo) and C.O.S.P.N (Madagascar).