Beau Vallon, Seychelles, joins the Basketball Africa League.

Seychelles’ Beau Vallon Heat, reigning champions of the Seychelles basketball league, are set to enter the Elite 16 round of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) with the goal of securing a coveted spot in Africa’s premier basketball tournament.

This marks the second appearance of the Seychelles team in the tournament, scheduled to unfold in Madagascar from October 3 to 7. Beau Vallon Heat finds itself placed in Group E of the East Division, alongside Madagascar’s Club Omnisport de La Police Nationale (COSPN), Comoros champions Ushindzi, and Mauritius’ Roche-Bois Warriors.

In this intense competition, only the group’s winner will advance to the Elite 16 round, where teams will be sorted into the East and West divisions. The top three from each division will secure a berth in the 2024 BAL season, featuring the continent’s top 12 teams.

Vice-chairman Riyad Balette expressed optimism, saying, Compared to 2019, this year we do not have to compete with teams from mainland Africa. This means Beau Vallon Heat has the chance to go further this year.

Recalling their 2019 performance, Heat had been placed in Group F of the qualifiers, securing just one win while losing three matches, ultimately finishing fourth out of five teams. Their sole victory came via a walkover against Comoros’ Usoni Club de Mutsamudu. Other teams in their group included Kenya Port Authority, Gendarmerie from Madagascar, and South Sudan’s Cobra Sport.

Established in 2019, BAL emerged through a collaboration between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Its season typically runs from March to May, and the format comprises 12 teams. Qualification is earned through domestic competitions, mirroring the meritocratic system akin to the UEFA Champions League.

Six teams secure direct qualification, while six others compete in the Road to BAL. The top four teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, culminating in a single-elimination tournament to crown the BAL champion, who earns an automatic spot in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup.

Since its inception in 2021, three different champions have emerged, including Al Ahly and Zamalek from Egypt and US Monastir from Tunisia.


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