SLAC – BAL 2022-Diomba Mara: “we want to do better than the previous edition”
The group stage of West Division of Elite 16 Basketball Africa League will be held from November 15-20. Seydou Legacy Athletic Club, (SLAC), will play in Abidjan(Ivory Coast). It is located in Pool B with Nueva Era BC in Equatorial Guinea, Armed Forces and Police in Cameroon and Stade Malien in Mali. Diomba Mara (SLAC player, MVP of the last Guinean title (2021),) spoke out about the club’s ambitions with Sport News Africa, just a few days prior to his entry against the Equatorial Guineans.
Our correspondent in Guinea
In a few days, SLAC will begin its campaign for the qualifying round of the African League Basketball in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). How are preparations going?
We are currently training individually. The competition is not open to players from Guinea. With the lack of competition, it is difficult to maintain the same rhythm for each player. We are waiting for the final phase of the playoffs.
What attitude do you adopt when approaching this tournament?
These are the playoffs. As we have done in the past, we will proudly represent Guinea. To do that, we will need to have high morale. We are working in this direction.
SLAC has been a regular participant in the BAL for two seasons and in the finals for the past two seasons. Won’t the elimination at this stage be considered a failure?
Downright. This is a real failure if you are used to the final round of a competition, but you are eliminated in that round. Despite not being in the championship, however, we still manage to win in African competitions, notably the BALL. An elimination at this stage will be a failure. We hope to avoid unpleasant surprises by taking all the chances we can to avoid this.
You lost to Zamalek in quarter-finals last season, and you were left without a place in the final four. What are your goals for this season?
Last season, we reached the quarter-finals. We lost to Zamalek. We are determined to improve this season, that is to say, the last four. Even though it may seem difficult, we want the best of what we have learned in the recent years to reach our goals.
The national championship was stopped for two consecutive seasons. Is it possible that you will be penalized during the tournament?
The lack of competition is still a problem. It is paid cash for a period. It is difficult to feel the lack of competition. Last season, we were also in the same situation. It doesn’t matter that we are SLAC, based on our latest results at BAL, there are still plenty of things to do. I hope it will be as good as last season.
You inherit a hen from Cameroonian Armed Forces and Police that was in the last phase. Can you triumph over this hen
Yes, we do hope so. We are part of an affordable pool with the Cameroonians Armed Forces and Police (FAP). It’s possible. Everything will happen on pitch. You cannot minimize the importance of any team. To be able to see the final phase of the game, you must be in peak form.
Mamadou Gongorè DIALLO