Carlos Morais of Petro

Is the window closing on Morais’ BAL title shot?

PETRO de Luanda is a highly decorated club that has participated in every instalment of the Basketball Africa League (BAL). Despite their extensive experience in the league, they have yet to win the BAL trophy. Ahead of the BAL, The Big Tip Off previews Petro.

Team: Petro de Luanda

Country: Angola

History: The 40-year-old club has a history of success on home soil and continentally. Petro has won many titles over the years, including 16 Angolan Basketball League championships, two Luanda Provincial Champions titles, 14 Angolan Cup titles, 10 Wlademiro Romero Super Cup titles, one Victorino Cunha Cup title and two FIBA Africa Club Champions Cup titles.

In the first season, they finished in third place and made it to the final the following year, where they fell short against Tunisia’s US Monastir. 

Jose Neto coach of Petro de Luanda
Can Jose Neto lead Petro to the promised land in Season 4 of the BAL? Pictures: FIBA and the BTO

Despite their lack of a BAL title, Petro has always managed to finish among the top four in the BAL.

Route To BAL: Angola is one of six countries whose club’s automatic qualification into the BAL. Petro went 23-1 throughout the season and defeated Primero de Agosto in the Angolan Basketball League finals to clinch their 16th national title.

Coach: Brazilian coach José Neto will again lead Petro in their title quest. Neto has extensive coaching experience at the club and national team level for Brazil. He is also the head coach of Brazil’s national women’s team, and his coaching career is highly decorated.

Previously, he coached at Flamengo basketball club and achieved great success. He won a FIBA Intercontinental Cup Championship, a FIBA Americas League Championship, and four consecutive Brazilian National League (NBB) titles. 

During his time with Petro, he has won three Angolan League Champion titles, two Angolan Cup trophies, and two Angolan Super Cup titles. Neto is also a three-time Angolan League Coach of the Year and he won Coach of the Year in Season 2 of the BAL.

Star Player: Carlos Morais, a veteran and legendary basketball player from Angola, is a star player on the Petro team. Last season, when Petro appeared to be struggling in the final stages of games, Morais was the go-to guy. He made key plays that helped to swing the momentum in Petro’s favour.

At 38, he had his best performance in Season 3 of the BAL… Recording improvements in every statistical category, averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game.

In Season 2 of the BAL, Morais earned All-First Team honours.

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