Tournament News

2023 Africa Women's Basketball League Preview: All Systems Go

2023 Africa Women's Basketball League Preview

Published on

January 22, 2024

Last Updated on

January 8, 2024

Kendi Mwiti

Kendi Mwiti

Staff Writer


All Systems Go as the Africa Women's Basketball League Gets Underway

African Women Basketball League's (AWBL) first edition begins on Monday, 11 December with 10 teams taking part in the championship.

Previously referred to as FIBA Africa Champions Cup-Women, the 9-day competition starts with a clash between Cameroon's University of Doula taking on Nigeria's Customs at 11 am.

The two sides will open action not only for the competition but for group A which also has holders and hosts Alexandria Sporting of Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo's CNSS and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Group B has Angolan champions Inter Clube and Equity Bank Hawks who join the competition on a wild card, Overdose of Cameroon, ASPAC of Benin and Zone Five silver medalists Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

The Rwandese side gets group B action underway, in the second match of the day as they look to register a positive start against Overdose.

Benson Oluoch's Equity Bank will then step on the floor to open their campaign against Inter Clube, a match that paves the way for the opening ceremony at 1900 hrs.

The final action of the opening day pits hosts and holders Alexandria Sporting against CNSS with the Mohamed Abdelrahman-coached hosts looking to get their title charge on a winning note.

Last year, the Egyptian side made history by defying all the odds to become the first Egyptian side to be crowned FIBA Africa Champions Cup Women winners, shutting out home team Costa Do Sol 65-58 in a hard-fought Final in Maputo.

The star-studded team boasts last year's Most Valuable Player (MVP) Hagar Amer who is set to captain the side in their quest for another title.

In addition to all the players who did duty for the team in the last championship, the side has beefed up the squad by injecting four more front court players into the team.

The new recruits are post-player Hala el Sharawy and Nour Talat as well as forwards Aya el Feqy and Senegalese Yacine Diop.

As for CNSS, coach Ade Koko insists they are here to compete and learn as they eye the Last Four stage, having fallen short in 2019 and 2022.

"Our objective is to finish in the top four or higher. We have lost in the Quarter-Finals in the last two tournaments. But we still aim high. We want to be among the top four clubs in Africa... That is our objective," said Koko.
"Some of our players will participate in their first African club competition. We have a young team. I want them to learn. That is my first message to them. To the ones who have already participated, they have a guiding role to play. There will be a lot of pressure, and we should let it get us or will lose sight of our goal," he added.

Meanwhile, all the clubs have gone all out in beefing their squad with star attractions including American WNBA star with Minessota Lynx Tiffany Mitchell who adds to REG's depth.

She joins the Zone 5 silver medalists alongside Nia Clouden who features for the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.

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