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Rivers Hoopers to battle Rwanda in basketball Africa’s opening game

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Nigeria’s flag bearer at the inaugural edition of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) billed holding from May 16 to 30, 2021, in Kigali, Rwanda, Rivers Hoopers, have been drawn in group A of the championship.

According to the draws, Hoopers will lock horns with Patriots of Rwanda, in the opening match of the league on May 16. They are also scheduled to face Gendarmerie Basketball Club (GNBC) of Madagascar and US Monastir of Tunisia in other matches of the group.

BAL divided the 12 participating teams into three groups of four, which will feature an 18-game group phase with a total of 26 games. During the group matches, each team is expected to face the other three teams in the group once. The top eight teams from the group phase will qualify for the playoffs, which will be single elimination in all three rounds.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, the Media Officer of Rivers Hoopers, Queen Moseph, said the team has arrived in Kigali training ahead of the basketball tourney.

Meanwhile, Rivers Hoopers game against the host team will be played behind closed doors inside the BAL bubble as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The KingsMen will play their remaining group games against Union Sportive Monastirienne of Tunisia on Thursday May 20 before facing Gendarmerie Nationale Basketball Club (GNBC) of Madagascar three days later.

During the group phase, each of the 12 participating teams will face the three other teams in its group once. Each groups’ first and second placed team, as well as the two best third place teams by win/loss record and then by points differential, if needed, will advance to the playoffs.

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