Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dolphins in treacherous waters as potential call-up to Africa League beckons

Botswana Basketball Association (BBA)’s top-ranked club, the Dolphins, is in uncertain waters as potential wild card entry to the elite Basketball Africa League (BAL) beckons.

The local side is facing huge financial hurdle if it is to be called to make its debut in the African Basketball Confederation (ABC)’s elite league. Despite not being among the top 16 elite teams, there is now a distant possibility it may be called.

During the qualifiers, Dolphins, which was in Group D, won two games and lost one game to finish second. This opened an opportunity for them to continue to the next stage through a wild card entry status.

Now, coach Trynos Moyo says financial low tides may beach his Dolphins. “The Dolphins did not qualify and we did not consider being a wild card because that takes into account a lot of things. We did not consider beyond that because of financial demands,” he said.

“Before, we had a budget of about P120,000 to cover travel and accommodation, but now we don’t have that amount so we are not considering much about this opportunity,” the Dolphins coach explained.

According to FIBA ​​​Africa Competitions Bureau, “The principle is to have two balanced groups (for each Division) and avoid situations where more than two teams competing in the same group enter the same Elite 16 group.”

“The draw took place while Group D was still in progress in Gaborone to determine the final qualifiers. A wild card to complete the Elite 16 list will be confirmed next week,” according to FIBA ​​​Africa.

The winners of the semi-finals and the winners of the Third Place Game will qualify for the fourth edition of the BAL. Although the Dolphins did not finish in first place, the team played against teams currently at sea while the home team was in season.

Moyo said the Dolphins have caught up with their neighbours. He said they have a younger team that gives them something to build on. “The players had a great experience and other players in our league got to see and enjoy the great teams in our area.”

Dolphins Basketball Club organized, Brave Hearts (Malawi), UNAM Wolves (Namibia), Munali Suns (Zambia) and JBC (Zimbabwe) and JBC emerged as the group winners.

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