Former BAL champions Monastir to look for redemption

AFTER their humiliating exit in the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Season 3 last year, Tunisian club US Monastir will be looking to redeem themselves in this season’s competition. 

The Big Tip Off gives insights into Monastir ahead of the upcoming BAL Season 4.

Team: US Monastir

Country: Tunisia

History: Monastir are eight-time champions of the Championnat Pro A. The five-time Tunisian Cup champions have been among the top teams in their local league, but on the continent, Monastir has been the country’s bright light.  

Following their appearance in the final of the inaugural BAL season, Monastir went one better by being crowned champions in Season 2.  

The following season saw the Blue Empire falter at the Sahara Conference stage of the BAL

Monastir earned a third-place finish in the former FIBA Clubs Champions Cup in 2017.

Route The BAL: Tunisia are one of six countries whose league winners get direct entry to the BAL, and Monastir will now make a fourth appearance at the continental competition.

Adel Tlatli during the 2017 FIBA Champions Cup
Adel Tlatli has a wealth of experience in international basketball. Pictures: FIBA

Coach: In terms of landing a big-name coach, it does not come better than Adel Tlatli. He led the Tunisian national team to an AfroBasket gold medal in 2011 and achieved a third position twice in 2009 and 2015 in the same tournament. 

Tlatli’s other achievements include leading the North African giants at the 2010 FIBA World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics. 

With Tlatli on their bench, Monastir has a fighting chance to reclaim the BAL trophy won in 2022. 

Star player: Firas Lahyani has been a mainstay of the Blue Empire since the inaugural BAL tournament. 

The Tunisian international was not a starter in the start-studded team that made the final in 2021, but he contributed 5.0 points per game from the bench.

In their championship season (2022), Lahyani played a prominent role for the Tunisian club. His minutes (24.7 minutes per game) and production increased. He averaged 12.5 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game.

If Lahyani can get back to the level of production of two seasons ago, it could change and improve Monastir’s outcomes.

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