FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Power Rankings, Volume 3: New favorites for the title?
MUNICH (Germany) - The final version of the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Power Rankings is here ahead of the anticipated start of the tournament on Thursday.
The time for talking is almost over, but until then, it's an opportunity to cast an eye over the 24 participating teams as the form book inevitably goes out of the window in the battle for continental glory.
Here's the final rundown from 24-1:
(change from previous position)
#24 - NETHERLANDS (-)
Netherlands jumped out to an 18-4 lead against Spain on Saturday in the World Cup European Qualifiers as a seismic upset was on the cards. However, they were unable to sustain their strong opening and succumbed to a 22-point defeat to drop to 0-6 in the Second Round standings having also lost to Georgia.
Outlook: They have been missing the scoring punch of Yannick Franke and his inclusion in the final 12 is a boost, but their chances will be slim of making it out of Group D in Prague.
#23 - GREAT BRITAIN (-1)
Great Britain were the last team to take to the court in the build up to EuroBasket and they suffered contrasting defeats against Belgium and Latvia in World Cup European Qualifiers play. They were far from their best on the road before a typically spirited performance at home saw them push Latvia all the way in an 87-80 defeat.
Outlook: If EuroBasket was hosted in Newcastle, it might be a different story, but don't rule out GB from pushing for a spot in the Top 16 with key battles with Estonia and Ukraine.
#22 - BULGARIA (+1)
Bulgaria enjoyed a couple of home wins in Samokov in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers as star player Aleksandar Vezenkov showed out. They beat both Cyprus and Romania with a dominant 28 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists from Vezenkov in the second of the two wins. They face the much tougher task of an opening game against Spain.
Outlook: Bulgaria will be the outsiders in Group A, but have a genuine difference maker in Vezenkov and they will be on the hunt to force themselves into top-four contention.
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#21 - ESTONIA (-)
Estonia's losing run in the World Cup European Qualifiers extended to five games after defeats against Slovenia and Finland in the August window. There's certainly no disgrace in being undone by Luka Doncic and they were right there with an in-form Finland inside the final quarter. While Greece, Italy and Croatia will be favorites to advance from Group C at EuroBasket, the final spot is certainly up for grabs.
Outlook: A younger roster with emerging talents ready to make a name for themselves on the big stage, Estonia will be in the mix to compete for a place in the knockout stages.
#20 - UKRAINE (-2)
Two defeats, but encouraging signs to take from the August window of the World Cup European Qualifiers for Ukraine. They led Italy by as many as 12 points in the second half, but conceded 38 points in the third quarter on their way to defeat, while they fell in overtime on the road against Iceland. Svi Mykhailiuk was the team's leader and they also reintegrated Alex Len into the fold.
Outlook: Ukraine start their campaign against Great Britain on Friday and that could have huge implications for the way the group plays out.
#19 - BELGIUM (-)
Belgium finally returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory against Great Britain in Mons before finding Greece too much to handle away from home. Ismael Bako and Retin Obasohan combined with starring roles in the win and that will remain a key theme to the team's potential success at EuroBasket.
Outlook: Belgium only managed one win at FIBA EuroBasket 2017, but they are in a group where they will fancy their chances of at least doubling that tally this time around.
#18 - HUNGARY (+2)
The importance of Adam Hanga was on full display during the August window of the World Cup European Qualifiers. They kept pace with Lithuania before an eventual 10-point loss, and then they pulled off a three-point win in Czech Republic as Hanga finished with a 20-12-5 line to put his side at 4-4 with some much needed confidence ahead of EuroBasket.
Outlook: A far from envious position with Hungary going into a 'group of death' scenario where any victory will be deemed a major success.
#17 - ISRAEL (-4)
Any momentum taken from an unbeaten prep was seemingly lost in the World Cup European Qualifiers with defeats against Finland and Sweden. The latter was a particular surprise as they suffered a 12-point loss at home with Deni Avdija not quite up to his usual standards in the window. Yam Madar fired in 27 points and Israel will want to address their defensive concerns.
Outlook: Israel have an early chance to avenge their defeat to Finland when they meet in Prague on Friday and that could set the tone for their hopes.
#16 - GEORGIA (+1)
Georgia rekindled that winning feeling by beating Netherlands on home soil, but it came at a cost as they lost influential star Toko Shengelia to a shoulder injury - ruling him out of EuroBasket. They still gave Italy a stern test on the road and their plethora of frontcourt options will be an interesting factor going into the tournament.
Outlook: Losing captain Shengelia is a hammer blow for Georgia, but this is still a huge occasion getting to host Group A in Tbilisi and they should still reach the Round of 16 with their tall-ball lineup.
#15 - POLAND (-1)
Poland have already suffered a defeat in their bid to qualify for the next EuroBasket in 2025 before competing at this latest edition. They dropped a close encounter at home to Croatia before bouncing back emphatically to beat Austria by 36 points. After missing out on the World Cup, they will be keen to make the most of this major tournament opportunity.
Outlook: Poland finish Group D action against Netherlands and Serbia, but it will be their opening three games that will likely decide whether they will be playing in Berlin or going home early.
#14 - MONTENEGRO (+2)
Three wins from four this summer in the World Cup European Qualifiers for Montenegro as they currently occupy a qualifying spot for the World Cup. They comfortably brushed aside Bosnia and Herzegovina in Podgorica, but were blown away by Lithuania in the third quarter on the road. Positives to take and a chance to impress at EuroBasket in Tbilisi.
Outlook: Montenegro have been handed a second chance after initially failing to qualify for EuroBasket and their encounter with Belgium on Saturday could be a key battle.
#13 - BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (+2)
DID YOU SEE THAT FROM JUSUF NURKIC?! The standout play of the August window of the World Cup European Qualifiers, but more importantly it came in a stunning double overtime win against France. That's especially impressive for a team that entered the contest off the back of a heavy loss against Montenegro, but consistency will be needed at EuroBasket.
Outlook: Bosnia and Herzegovina have just beaten France, so why can't they do it again? If they don't, they may need to beat Slovenia or Lithuania or Germany so it's a tall order to make it through to the Round of 16.
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#12 - CZECH REPUBLIC (-2)
The Czechs saw an early 12-point advantage away in France turn into a heavy 35-point loss before falling to defeat on home soil against Hungary. Not completely undoing their First Round fightback, but their World Cup hopes are in the balance. Things will have to improve if they are to avoid similar disappointment when they host Group D in Prague.
Outlook: The major concern is the fitness of influential leader Tomas Satoransky. Without him, the challenge gets that much tougher and the August window was an ominous sign.
#11 - CROATIA (-)
Somewhat of a low-key entrance for Croatia as they were playing in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers. They took care of business, though, with wins over Poland and Switzerland in contrasting fashion. Mario Hezonja stepped up on the road late on with big triples to see off Poland, while Karlo Matkovic starred at home to highlight the depth of the team that heads to Milan in good spirits.
Outlook: There's an air of unpredictability surrounding Croatia. They have the talent to make a deep run at EuroBasket, but it also wouldn't be a complete surprise should they end up fighting to make it out of Group C.
#10 - FINLAND (+2)
The only European team to already qualify for next year's World Cup. Finland continued their run of results with victories over Israel and Estonia. Lauri Markkanen poured in a combined 46 points across the two games and will be a leading contender for top scoring honors at EuroBasket. Momentum is with Finland and the big stage awaits.
Outlook: Finland pulled off several surprising results back in 2017, but this time the Susijengi's absolute minimum expectation will be to reach the knockout stages - and then, who knows how the draw might open up for them.
#9 - TURKEY (-3)
Not the ideal lead up for Turkey as they suffered back-to-back losses against Latvia and Serbia having been completely outplayed for a game and a half. Down 21 at home to Serbia, they battled back to tie the game late in the fourth only to run out of steam. The trio of Cedi Osman, Alperen Sengun and Furkan Korkmaz all starred in the second half and will be key to their side's hopes at EuroBasket.
Outlook: Turkey will still be expected to challenge for top spot in Group A and with the Round of 16 crossover with the dangerous Group B, even second place may be unforgiving.
#8 - ITALY (+1)
Italy find themselves back in the top 8, but their chances of success at EuroBasket have been dented with the loss of Danilo Gallinari to injury. Simone Fontecchio embraced his star status on the team with key contributions in back-to-back wins over Ukraine and Georgia and they head to Milan with mixed feelings ahead of EuroBasket.
Outlook: An undoubted blow for Italy, but they still have enough talent on their disposal to make a run at EuroBasket and should be looking at the Quarter-Finals at the very least.
#7 - SPAIN (-)
There wasn't too much to gain from Spain in their latest World Cup European Qualifiers as they were expected little trouble from Iceland and Netherlands. After an early scare on the road, they pulled clear for a combined winning margin of +52 from the two wins. It was also another chance for Lorenzo Brown to get accustomed with the national team.
Outlook: Spain are perennial medal winners at EuroBasket, but there is a different sense of expectation as they enter this year's tournament. Group A in Tbilisi offers a chance to build some momentum heading into the knockout stages.
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#6 - GERMANY (+2)
That's how you warm up for EuroBasket - beating the reigning champions and one of the pre-tournament favorites. Germany eased past Sweden in Stockholm before overcoming 2017 winners Slovenia in a convincing 19-point triumph as they had key contributions across the board. Dennis Schroder has more support from the start of the summer and confidence is high.
Outlook: There is little margin for error in Group B in Cologne but while they will be considered behind the top three in the group, they should not be taken lightly and there should be some fascinating matchups.
#5 - FRANCE (-3)
You know how we were saying about how tight it is amongst the top five? Well, yeah. France have long been tipped for EuroBasket glory, but suffered a double overtime defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the World Cup European Qualifiers just to throw in some doubt about their chances. Tournament play is a different beast and they will know they need to be better.
Outlook: The loss in Sarajevo could be the wakeup call to inspire success at EuroBasket and there's no time to ease into the tournament as they face Germany in Cologne on the opening day before Lithuania follow.
#4 - LITHUANIA (-)
Lithuania have quietly gone about their business this summer and an unbeaten prep has almost slipped under the radar with surprising results elsewhere. Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas were not needed at full throttle to overcome Hungary and Montenegro, while Rokas Jokubaitis continues to handle the responsibility at the point guard position.
Outlook: Slovenia and France have been considered favorites for Group B, but don't rule out Lithuania making a big impression. If they did slide in behind those two, then how about a potential Round of 16 clash with Turkey? (insert double Flames emoji).
#3 - GREECE (-)
Is a medal on the cards for Greece? They may have split their double-header in the World Cup European Qualifiers, but wow what a game that was in Belgrade against Serbia. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 40 points in the defeat and is going to be a major force at EuroBasket, as if anyone needed to be told. They also have a couple of injury doubts hanging over them.
Outlook: Greece will be the big favorites to win Group C in Milan, but the bracket could lead them to a potential Quarter-Final tie with France or Slovenia - good enough to be a Final.
#2 - SLOVENIA (-1)
It was all looking rather comfortable for Luka Doncic and Slovenia. They eased to victory over Estonia to open up the Second Round of the World Cup European Qualifiers, but were well below par in losing to Germany on the road as they were outplayed and outfought. Slovenia will still be one of the favorites at EuroBasket and that defeat could stamp out any complacency.
Outlook: Slovenia open up against Lithuania in a repeat of last year's FIBA OQT Final with both sides looking for something to prove in that matchup to set the tone in Cologne.
#1 - SERBIA (+4)
Statement made. We said in our last edition that Serbia will still be contenders for the title and they put together a huge window to revive their World Cup hopes with wins over Greece and Turkey. Serbia had to dig deep in overtime at home before fending off a huge fightback from Turkey in Istanbul. Two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic showed his class, but there were several key contributions that will raise Serbia's hopes of EuroBasket glory.
Outlook: There are no easy games at EuroBasket, but it's fair to say that Serbia have a favorable group. They will be expected to be playing for medals late in the tournament and have arguably the best player in the world leading their charge.
*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author.