The decision to rebrand the competition was driven by the desire to align it with the well-established Basketball Africa League (BAL), which has firmly rooted itself in the African basketball landscape over the course of three years.
While the tournament has undergone a name change, there have been no alterations to the participating teams or the game format. The top two performing teams in the tournament will secure an immediate ticket to compete in the official FIBA Africa Women Basketball League, set to be held in Cairo, Egypt, from December 8th to 17th, 2023.
In addition to the nomenclature change, the tournament’s dates have been adjusted, moving from the original schedule of October 21st to 28th, 2023, to the new dates of October 28th to November 4th, 2023. Nyirishema Richard, the deputy director of competitions at the Rwanda Basketball Association, cited the need to consider available infrastructure, notably the BK ARENA, as the preferred venue for the finals.
This competition will bring together ten teams from six countries, with Rwanda serving as the host nation. The participating teams include APR WBBC, who secured the 2023 Championship Cup, and REG WBBC, the runner-up.
Other participating teams comprise Vijana Queens and JKT Stars from Tanzania, Nile Legends from South Sudan, JKL Lady Dolphins and UCU Lady Canons from Uganda, Kenya Ports Authority and Zetech University from Kenya, and Gladiators from Burundi.
APR WBBC last competed in the ’Zone V Preliminaries Women Club Championship’ in Tanzania from September 26th to October 1st, 2022, securing a third-place finish by defeating REG WBBC from Rwanda with a score of 42-39.
The championship trophy was claimed by Alexandria Sporting Club (ASC) from Egypt, who triumphed over Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the final match with a score of 78-67. APR’s third-place finish earned them a spot in the 2022 FIBA Women Champions Club African Games held in Maputo, Mozambique, from December 9th to 17th, 2022, where they ranked eighth among the ten participating teams.
Preparations for the teams representing Rwanda, including REG WBBC and APR WBBC, are in full swing. All the test matches are scheduled to be held at the LDK Gymnasium.