In Asia and Oceania, the national team ranks sixth

THE Philippines retained its spot at number 31 in the world after International Basketball Federation (FIBA) updated its rankings following the second window of its Continental Cup Qualifiers.

The country’s standing remained steady after a youth-laden Gilas Pilipinas team made a good account of itself in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in November, sweeping Thailand in their two-game series by an average winning margin of 28 points.

The twin victories kept the Philippines unscathed in the Asia Cup Qualifiers while taking the driver’s seat in Group A with a 3-0 record.

In Asia and Oceania, the country is ranked sixth, behind Australia (3), Iran (23), New Zealand (25), China (28) and Korea (30).

The United States is still the number one-ranked team in the world, followed by Spain and Australia. Argentina and Serbia complete the top five.

Russia is the only newcomer to the top 10 after climbing two spots to No. 9 and switching places with the Czech Republic, which dropped to No. 11 after suffering defeats to lower-ranked teams in Denmark and Belgium in the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers.

Also in the top 10 are France (6), Greece (7), Lithuania (8) and Brazil (10).

South Sudan, coached by former National Basketball Association star and federation president Luol Deng, experienced the biggest rise in the latest update, climbing nine points to No. 98.

It won two of three games in the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda.

The biggest drop in the world ranking, meanwhile, was suffered by Madagascar, which dropped 30 places to No. 124 after losing in the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers to Tunisia by 37 points, to Central African Republic by 26, and to Democratic Republic of Congo by 18.

Due to the suspension of FIBA competitions, an adjustment was made to the algorithm for the rankings by extending the expiration date of past results by eight months in order to ensure that results from two Olympic Games are at all times included in the calculations, which weigh data from the past eight years.

FIBA member nations/teams have the opportunity to improve on their rankings in the last of three FIBA Continental Cup Qualifiers windows set for February next year. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo