Takeaways from the last FIBA World Ranking of 2023 for African countries
ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - A new number one country in the men's basketball in Africa and an uncontested leader in the women's game on the continent are the main takeaways from the last FIBA World Rankings presented by NIKE updated in September 2023.
The outcome of the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket, played between July 26 and August 5 in Rwanda, followed by the outcome of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup - co-hosted by Indonesia, Japan and The Philippines held between August 25 to September 10 - had a significant part in the current overview of the FIBA World Rankings (Africa).
South Sudan climbed incredible 32 places to become the Number One team in Africa while ranking 31st in the World.
South Sudan qualified to the Olympics in their first try
The South Sudanese unseated Nigeria, who plummeted to fifth place in Africa after failing to qualify to the World Cup and dropped 18 places overall.
Comparatively to the previous ranking updated in February, which was impacted by the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers, South Sudan improved six places, moving from seventh to first place.
In Manila, South Sudan trounced eleven-time African champions Angola 101-78, a score that speaks volumes about the new kings of African basketball.
And thanks to their 3-2 win-loss mark at the World Cup, which ensured them the best-placed team from Africa in the 32-nation tournament, South Sudan have qualified automatically to the Olympic Games 2024.
But it was't just Nigeria - who dropped from 19th to 37th in world - who were hit hard in the current FIBA ranking. Reigning FIBA AfroBasket champions Tunisia, who had a modest World Cup African Qualifiers campaign, fell from second to fourth place in Africa.
Winners of the last two editions of the FIBA AfroBasket, Tunisia dropped to fourth place in Africa
The Eagles of Carthage dropped 15 places, and as a result plummeted from number 21st in the world to 36th.
Senegal, another African heavyweight currently out of the top-three on the continent, dropped to eighth place. The Lions of Teranga, who stunned higher-ranked teams at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, fell short in the African Qualifiers and, as a result, missed out the Indonesia-Japan-Philippines showcase.
On the other hand, Angola and Cote d'Ivoire saw the fruits of positive World Cup African Qualifiers campaigns pay off.
Cote d'Ivoire and Angola climbed to second and third places in Africa
Both countries won one of their five games each in Jakarta and Manila. Cote d'Ivoire climbed nine places overall to become the current number two in African while Angola improved seven places to sit at number three on the continent.
Egypt, who finished as the second best-placed African country at the 2023 World Cup, climbed 14 points (41st in the world) to keep their sixth place in Africa.
Meanwhile, Cape Verde registered the second highest improvement among African countries after climbing 19 places and move from eighth to seventh in Africa.
On the opposite side the ranking, Algeria recorded the biggest fall among all FIBA-ranked countries after dropping 28 places (133rd in the world) to rank 25th in Africa.
NIGERIA RULE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL IN AFRICA
By winning their fourth straight FIBA Women's AfroBasket there was never questions as to who the number one country in women's basketball is in Africa. Nigeria haven't lost a lost a game on the continent since the Semi-Final of the 2015 Women's AfroBasket held in Cameroon.
Uganda climbed the most places (23) among African teams to rank ninth on the continent.
Mali climbed 13 places to retain their second place (16th in the world) while Senegal remain as Africa's number three.
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