A pair of fourth-place finishes in two tough FIBA tournaments put the Philippine men’s basketball team in the top 50 in the latest ranking of FIBA.
The Philippine five, known as the the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team, jumped from 53rd to 45th (10.8 accumulated points) in the latest ranking by the world governing body in basketball.
That was a +8 jump by the Filipino dribblers who finished fourth in both the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, which the country hosted, and the recently concluded FIBA Asia Championship for Men in Wuhan, China.
The country’s rise in the ranking was the third highest among the affiliate members of FIBA.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the best mover with +14, jumping from No. 47 to No. 33 (25 pts) while Great Britain had a +13 increase in its ranking to occupy the No. 43 spot (12 pts) , only two spots ahead of the Philippines.
United States of America remains the No. 1 ranked basketball team in the world followed by FIBA Europe champion Spain. Argentina occupied the third spot.
The country’s significant move in the FIBA ranking showed the efforts being done by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to put the country back as part of Asia’s elite.
SBP is being headed by Manny V. Pangilinan, who made a bold announcement that he won’t stop in chasing the Olympic dream as his gift for the basketball-loving nation.
Though they fell short in their target in the 26th FIBA Asia event, the SMART-Gilas quintet gained the respect of the field with including the top FIBA officials led by President Ivan Mainini and Secretary-General Patrick Baumann.