Gilas teams move up in FIBA rankings

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

September 16, 2023, 7:38 am

MANILA – The senior teams of Gilas Pilipinas received good news over the week as they moved up in their respective FIBA world rankings.

The men's team got the good news on Friday night, jumping two spots to No. 38 in the men's world rankings.

Gilas' win against China in their last FIBA World Cup assignment on Sept. 2 turned out to be just enough to jump a couple of spots in the world rankings, despite the disappointing campaign wherein they only settled for a spot in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

The women's team earlier received good news as FIBA disclosed on Wednesday night that the team is now at No. 37 in the world, a five-place jump from 42nd overall.

Gilas' sixth-place finish in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup, in which they beat Chinese Taipei to gain their first quarterfinal appearance and an assured stay in Division A without needing to win the battle for seventh, turned out to be enough to secure the upgrade.

"We went to a long road, but we're getting there. I'm just happy to continue what we're doing. It is a testament to our program," Gilas women's team coach Pat Aquino said. "Sana tuluy-tuloy na and go higher pa (I hope this will continue and even go higher)."

In the meantime, the results of the FIBA World Cup brought about a huge shakeup in the men's rankings.

Germany, the newly crowned world champion, moved into third place, an eight-spot rise from 11th during the sixth qualifying window.

Serbia, the silver medalist, moved up one spot to fifth in the world, while Canada, the bronze medalist, moved up nine spots to sixth.

Team USA, despite missing out on the podium finish, reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings as Spain, after a shock early exit brought about by Canada's come-from-behind win in their do-or-die second-round clash, slipped to No. 2 in the world but still just enough to keep the top spot for Europe despite Germany's rise.

The biggest winners, however, were Latvia and South Sudan.

Latvia, banking on an impressive fifth-place finish in its maiden FIBA World Cup journey, jumped 22 places from 30th in February to eighth this month.

South Sudan, on the other hand, made the biggest gain as it moved 32 notches up to 31st in the world, now becoming the top team in Africa after a solid FIBA World Cup campaign that led to its direct qualification to the Paris Olympics.

Japan, which also earned direct qualification to the Paris Olympics after being the host team in the 2021 edition in Saitama, jumped 11 places to No. 26 in the world and is now the top team in continental Asia – third in the Asia-Pacific region counting Australia and New Zealand.

Despite the improvement in the world rankings, Gilas fell to No. 8 in the Asia-Pacific region, as Lebanon leapfrogged by 16 places from 44th overall to 28th, also overtaking China and Jordan for fifth in the region.

Despite crashing to the bottom of the FIBA World Cup standings, Jordan moved up one spot to 32nd overall, while China dropped one spot to 29th. (PNA)