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17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
24/11/2020
Long Read
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FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Power Rankings: Volume 2

MUNICH (Germany) - The qualification cycle for FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers continues, with 32 teams fighting for their place in the Final Round.

The year of the event might now be different, the games are taking place in bubbles, but the teams are the same, and so are the Power Rankings.

With all 32 teams in action this week, it seems like a good time to remind you about the competition system. There are eight groups of four teams, and the three highest-placed teams from each group, except the groups which include the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 hosts, will qualify for the FIBA EuroBasket 2022. For the groups containing Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany and Italy, the host and the two other highest placed teams will qualify for the FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

The FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers take place across three windows in February 2020, November 2020 in February 2021 with two games played by each team in every window.

#1 Greece GRE (+9)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group H)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
 Quarter-Finals
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 7th

Window schedule: Latvia, Bulgaria in Sarajevo, BIH

Up at 2-0, looking good, feeling good, not having to face the hosts of their group in Sarajevo... Greece could be at 4-0 before the week is done. Also, it was Nikos Gkikas' birthday last Sunday, so here's a present for the point guard - number one spot in the Power Rankings. There you go. Happy birthday, man! Also, of all the powerhouses around the continent, Greece are one of only four 2-0 teams in the Top 10 here.

#2 France FRA (0)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group G)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017: Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 6th

Window schedule: Great Britain, Germany in Pau, France

France only managed to get a 1-1 record over the first Window, but now, back at home, in their own backyard, it seems like they are in the drivers' seat to go to 3-1, while trying to show that the -14 from the first matchup with Germany was just a bad day at the office. Keep an eye on JDA Dijon's one-two punch of Axel Julien and Alexandre Chassang, both are putting up big numbers for their club in all competitions.

#3 Spain ESP (-2)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group A)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
3rd Place
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 2nd

Window schedule: Israel, Romania in Valencia, Spain

Honestly, with an 11-point defeat to Poland in Zaragoza in February, at 1-1, Spain shouldn't be in the top three here. But hey, you have to respect the name on that shirt. Literally, if they put "SPAIN" on five chairs, we'd still believe that team could go 2-0 in November. Winning is a habit for them, don't be surprised if they win both games by double digits.

#4 Lithuania LTU (0)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group C)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 8th

Window schedule: Denmark, Belgium in Vilnius, Lithuania

The future is now. Read all about it. You'll forget all about this 1-1 Lithuania, and get excited for the 3-1 Lithuania.

#5 Italy ITA (+1)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group B)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Quarter-Finals
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 12th

Window schedule: North Macedonia, Russia in Tallinn, Estonia

Up at 2-0, Italy are looking at a perfect scenario heading into the next two games, because (1) they are top of the group, (b) they aren't playing the hosts in Tallinn, (c) they can test new players and options in these games with no fear of missing out on the Final Round, and (d) they could tickle the imagination of their fans with a win or two here, get them daydreaming of a mighty squad at the summit in 2022. Italy are in win-win-win-win situation right now.

#6 Serbia SRB (-3)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group E)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
2nd Place
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
5th

Window schedule: Switzerland, Finland in Espoo, Finland

They would've been Top 10 even if they had dropped to 0-2 in the first Window. But maybe their Top 10 spot is not a good sign, given our recent Serbia feat. Power Rankings experiences. Serbia will be there, with players like Simanic, Simonovic, Zagorac, Dangubic, Avramovic, Andjusic, Kravic... Anyway, a loaded team awaits. They have Switzerland and Finland coming up, two wins would take them to 3-1.

#7 Germany GER (-2)

Current Record: 1-1 (1st in Group G)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Quarter-Finals
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
18th

Window schedule: Montenegro, France in Pau, France

Experience is extremely important in games like these. But then again, when you're hosting the Final Round, you can give your youngsters a chance to gain experience in games like these, so that they could be a factor not just at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022, but also in the next qualifying campaigns. Here's the math of the German squad: Robin Benzing played 146 games for the national team. All other German players for this Window? A total of 132 games for Germany. Get experience today, win tomorrow.

A photo of Robin Benzing from approximately 146 games ago

#8 Czech Republic CZE (0)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group C)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
9th

Window schedule: Belgium, Denmark in Vilnius, Lithuania

Congrats to Vojtech Hruban, who became a dad last week! That's awesome for him...but also for Belgium and Denmark, because Hruban will not be with the team in Lithuania. Still, Czech Republic keep proving they aren't a one trick pony, not at all, so expect them to build on their 1-1 record, especially since they don't have to play against Lithuania in Lithuania again.

#9 Belgium BEL (+8)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group C)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
37th

Window schedule: Czech Republic, Lithuania in Vilnius, Lithuania

Retin Obasohan has found a whole new level to his game by joining ERA Nymburk, Hans Vanwijn is a perfect fit in JDA Dijon, coach Dario Gjergja defeated the Basketball Champions League winners Hereda San Pablo Burgos with his Filou Oostende team... Seems like it's a good thing to be a fan of Belgian basketball nowadays. Oh, and the national team is up at 2-0. Good times, Lions. Good times indeed.

#10 Croatia CRO (+2)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group D)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
14th

Window schedule: Turkey, Sweden in Istanbul, Turkey

Unconfirmed rumor has it that Kruno Simon will join the team in Istanbul, where he makes a living by scoring 10,000 points per game - or at least it feels like he's scoring that much with Anadolu Efes. So, a 2-0 Croatia team with a guy who scored 42 points against Fethiye just two weeks ago? Sounds like fun. But then again, the rumor is unconfirmed. God, how we wish it will be confirmed soon.

#11 Israel ISR (+5)

Current Record: f
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
41st

Window schedule: Spain, Poland in Valencia, Spain

Coach Oded Kattash is also in a testing phase with his lineups, and he can afford to be, since he's up at 2-0 after the first Window. Gal Mekel, Tamir Blatt and Yam Madar are all on the list for the Valencia Bubble, so there should be no shortage of elite assists in games against Spain and Poland. Even if they drop to 2-2, they should still be confident about making the Final Round.

#12 Georgia GEO (+6)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group E)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
36th

Window schedule: Finland, Switzerland in Espoo, Finland

Tornike Shengelia, Giorgi Shermadini, Thaddus McFadden will be there in Espoo for coach Ilias Zouros. And even then, they still aren't the strongest they could be because Rati Andronikashvili, Goga Bitadze, Beka Burjanadze, George Tsintsadze, Duda Sanadze aren't able to join the team in this Window. Basketball is huge in Georgia, and it could get even bigger if they climb to 4-0 after the next two games.

#13 Russia RUS (-6)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group B)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
4th Place
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
11th

Window schedule: Estonia, Italy in Tallinn, Estonia

Here's the thing. It's not bad, at all, standing at 1-1 after the first two games. But their schedule is the toughest possible in Group B, as they have to face the hosts of the group, and the 2-0 team. It's not bad, at all, but a couple of slip ups and Russia could drop down to 1-3 in a weeks' time.

#14 Slovenia SLO (0)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group F)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
1st Place
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
17th

Window schedule: Ukraine, Hungary in Ljubljana, Slovenia

So much time has passed since FIBA EuroBasket 2017, people tend to forget Slovenia are still the defending champs. They will host the Bubble in Ljubljana, a familiar environment could push them to a win or two, and then they make the Final Round and we get to beg Goran Dragic to reconsider his national team retirement decision. It's a tradition by now...

#15 Poland POL (0)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group A)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
13th

Window schedule: Romania, Israel in Valencia, Spain

Poland should go 2-0 in this Window. Okay, maybe 1-1 does the trick too, as long as they defeat Romania and keep them two games behind in the standings. But here's the deal, Poland are a team that defeated Spain in Spain on regular terms, so they should be looking at two wins and a chance to finish the Window up at 3-1.

#16 Hungary HUN (+3)

Current Record: 2-0 (1st in Group F)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
39th

Window schedule: Austria, Slovenia in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Okay, so Hungary should be at 3-0 after their game against Austria. But do you see them going 4-0 when they take on Slovenia in Ljubljana? Do you, really? Because, just as a reminder, they defeated Slovenia 77-75 back on Gameday 1 in Szombathely, with the fans still in the stands. Take out the fans, take out the surroundings...are they still favorites against Slovenia? Ah, who cares, both are destined to reach the Final Round in 2022. Overthinking is my problem, I'm not afraid to admit it.

#17 Finland FIN (+3)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group E)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
34th

Window schedule: Georgia, Serbia in Espoo, Finland

We were *this* close to seeing Lauri Markkanen play for the Finnish national team again. THIS close. Horrible schedule for them in Espoo, Georgia and Serbia in a matter of days, this could go south for Finland in a hurry.

#18 Turkey TUR (-9)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group D)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
15th

Window schedule: Croatia, Netherlands in Istanbul, Turkey

Let's ignore the ill-timed coaching change and focus on more important matters. SHANE LARKIN IS WITH THE TEAM AND TURKEY ARE BOUND TO DIG THEMSELVES OUT OF THEIR 0-2 HOLE! Okay. Got it out of the system. Shane is cool. Shane is capable of defeating teams by himself. Keep an eye on the 18-year-old Alperen Sengun, he's putting up insane numbers (20ppg/10rpg) with Besiktas in the Turkish League.

#19 Estonia EST (+7)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group B)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
49th

Window schedule: Russia, North Macedonia in Tallinn, Estonia

Bookmark this page, because you're about to heat that Estonia will not only make the Final Round of the FIBA EuroBasket 2022, but they will also play a major role at the event and become a force to be reckoned with in near future. Seriously, Estonian players are slowly but surely taking their spots all over Europe.

#20 Montenegro MNE (-7)

Current Record: 1-1 (4th in Group G)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
26th

Window schedule: Germany, Great Britain in Pau, France

Probably a good idea to "tank" the game against Germany and focus on sweeping Great Britain in this Window. Montenegro are a part of that 1-1 group with France, Germany and Team GB, so if they have to go 2-2, it's probably better to get those two wins against a single opponent and claim the tiebreaker. Also, teenagers are about to get some minutes in this Window, which is what makes Nikola Ivanovic thrilled.

#21 Great Britain GBR (+7)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group G)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
42nd

Window schedule: France, Montenegro in Pau, France

Similar to what was just said with Montenegro, there's a chance Great Britain don't use up all their nitro against France, but rather focus on the other game they have in Pau. For them, it's about avoiding the Montenegrin sweep, which would probably mean the end of their FIBA EuroBasket 2022 hopes. Or, you know, they could hope they go and sweep Germany and stay alive in the third Window. Possibilities... 

#22 Ukraine UKR (+1)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group F)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Round of 16
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
29th

Window schedule: Slovenia, Austria in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The saga of Steven Burtt playing or, as it turns out, not playing for the national team was the key talking point for Ukraine. Also, no Artem Pustoviy in this Window. It feels like they could fall to 0-2 in this Window, which probably means they'll go 2-0 out of spite, just to defy the Power Rankings.

#23 Netherlands NED (-2)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group D)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike
: 44th

Window schedule: Sweden, Turkey in Istanbul, Turkey

I've got only six words for you: Keye van der Vuurst de Vries! Filou Oostende's guard used the off-season perfectly, and he started the season looking stronger and faster than before, with his crisp passes still finding teammates with some of the craziest passing angles around. KVDVDV will need to be at his best if the Netherlands plan on winning a game or two in Turkey...

#24 Sweden SWE (-2)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group D)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
55th

Window schedule: Netherlands, Croatia in Istanbul, Turkey

One main goal for Sweden heading to Turkey: Just beat Croatia. Because you still get to play the Netherlands once more in the last Window, so there's a chance of catching up with them in the last game of the campaign, there's a chance of chasing the tiebreaker there, so losing to Oranje in Istanbul wouldn't be a tragedy now. But if Sweden drops to 0-2 in matchups against Croatia... It could be a long uphill battle to make the summit.

#25 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH (-1)

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group H)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
45th

Window schedule: Bulgaria, Latvia in Sarajevo, BIH

Just build on what the women's team did in their Window, in the same city, with the same kind of growing enthusiasm in the country when it comes to basketball. Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Latvia by a single point on Gameday 1, and they don't have to play Greece in this Window, so going 2-0 in Sarajevo isn't that wild of a dream, is it? It's not. Right? Right.

#26 Bulgaria BUL (-1)

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group H)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 50th

Window schedule: BIH, Greece in Sarajevo, BIH

Probably the toughest schedule of all the teams in all the Bubbles. Still, we all know there's an overtime just waiting to happen when Bulgaria take the court in Sarajevo. Or anywhere else in the world - just ask Latvia...

#27 Latvia LAT (-16)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group H)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Quarter-Finals
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike
: 27th

Window schedule: Greece, BIH in Sarajevo, BIH

It's not fair and I have no explanation why Latvia are so low, because even though they are down at 0-2, they could've been up at 2-0, because they lost by a single point to BIH and in double overtime in Bulgaria back in February and it's not fair. It's not. No. Get back to Top 10, ASAP!

#28 Switzerland SUI (+2)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group E)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017: Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
62nd

Window schedule: Serbia, Georgia in Espoo, Finland

Trivia time: Switzerland are the lowest ranked FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers team in the FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike. They had two single digit defeats first time around, so that ranking thing is really tricky, especially if it makes you underestimate Switzerland before and during the game. Don't do it.

#29 North Macedonia MKD (0)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group B)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
53rd

Window schedule: Italy, Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia

They need to start winning games if they want to make it back to the Final Round and try to reach the Semi-Finals like nine years ago in Lithuania. But playing against 2-0 Italy and the hosts Estonia doesn't sound so promising when you're chasing that maiden win.

#30 Austria AUT (+2)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group F)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
56th

Window schedule: Hungary, Ukraine in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Austria already played a great game in Slovenia in these FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers. Trouble is, even when they play a good game, they still lose it... Austria will need something special against Hungary and Ukraine to get a win or two in and stay alive in the hunt for the FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

#31 Romania ROU (0)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group A)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Group Phase
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
54th

Window schedule: Poland, Spain in Valencia, Spain

Horrible group, horrible schedule, horrible everything for Romania. Their -37 point differential after two games isn't helping, either.

#32 Denmark DEN (-5)

Current Record: 0-2 (4th in Group C)
FIBA EuroBasket 2017:
Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike:
59th

Window schedule: Lithuania, Czech Republic in Vilnius, Lithuania

Denmark are still in that "oh they are so competitive" phase of approval over the continent. The next one would be "oh they can stay in front for 40 minutes," followed by "oh they can upset the favorites," followed by "oh they are for real," followed by "oh they are winning games!" It's a long road, but maybe we see two of those phases against Lithuania and Czech Republic already.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is a Croatian freelance writer and meme expert who watches a lot of basketball and brings both the power and the rankings to the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers.