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Greece, Russia, Italy and Latvia move up the order in latest NIKE FIBA World Ranking Men
MIES, Switzerland - The FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by NIKE, has been updated following the fifth window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
This latest edition of the ranking gives a true reflection of how much every single win or loss mean, and demonstrates the impact of the slightest margin of victory and/or defeat - for better or worse - on a team's standing.
Click here to view the full ranking.
While the top 5 remains unchanged, Greece (587.9) move up one place to eighth thanks in part to improving to 9-0 in the European Qualifiers by handing #22 Germany their first defeat. The Greeks' move up the order was limited by the fact that they then suffered their own maiden loss of the campaign, at the hands of #4 Serbia. Meanwhile, Croatia (586.2) drop one spot to ninth following their 79-62 loss to #6 Lithuania.
Russia (508.8), on the strength of going 2-0 for the first time in a window of the Qualifiers (beating #21 Finland and #24 Czech Republic), move from #12 to #11.
Brazil (502.2), who were putting the pressure on Australia after the September window for the right to round out the top 10, paid the price for their heavy (94-67) home loss to #23 Canada by making way for the Russians to jump ahead of them.
Italy (480.2) put an end to Lithuania's perfect run in the Qualifiers when they beat them 70-65 and as a result move up from #14 to #13.
Mexico (478.5) drop to #14 following a winless fifth window, while Latvia (453.4) slot in right behind thanks to an 82-77 defeat of #7 Slovenia.
Puerto Rico (449.0) have a 64-62 loss to #34 Uruguay and the fact of barely (71-70) edging out #44 Panama to blame for finding themselves outside the top 15.
Further on down, several teams move up the order after scoring big wins and/or losing by small margins against higher-ranked teams.
That is the case of Poland (351.6), who climb two places to #25 following a 94-78 win over #13 Italy and a five-point loss (79-74) at the hands of #9 Croatia. Similarly, Montenegro move inside the top 30 (from #31 to #29) on the strength of a 71-66 defeat of #17 Turkey and a defeat by nine points (84-75) to #15 Latvia.
For some countries, progressing up the ranking comes as a bonus after achieving huge success in the fifth window.
This is the case of Korea (293.6), who gain a place (from #33 to #32) after going 2-0 (beating Lebanon and Jordan) in the Asian Qualifiers and qualifying for the World Cup. Likewise, Angola (266.0) jump from #37 to #36 after winning all three of their games in the African Qualifiers - on home soil in Luanda - to also punch their ticket to China 2019.
Japan (223.0) climb from #50 to #47 after winning both games in the fifth window (against Qatar and Kazakhstan) to revive their chances of qualifying for the World Cup. Cameroon gain five places, moving from #63 to #58, after going 2-1 in the November-December window and have the inside track to claim the final qualifying spot from the African Qualifiers as the best third-placed team thanks to a crucial 80-60 win over Egypt.
At the top, the USA (783.0 points) and Spain (702.6 points) remain first and second, some distance ahead of the rest. However, a couple of exciting battles that heated up after the fourth window - France (650.2) and Serbia (645.0) fighting for third place, Argentina (627.1) and Lithuania (621.0) to round out the top 5 - continue to provide some excitement and show no signs of cooling off.
The FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by NIKE, is updated following every window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. It takes into consideration rating points of games played in top official FIBA competitions and their Qualifiers during an 8-year period.
Meanwhile, the Boys Ranking and Girls Ranking have been finalized for 2018. The Women's Ranking was finalized following the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).