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August 2023
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Women's Asia Cup 2023 Division B Power Rankings Volume 2

BANGKOK (Thailand) - The Group Phase is done and dusted in Bangkok for the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2023 Division B which seems like a good time to go back and check on the Power Rankings.

We've seen some inspiring masterclass performances from several top scorers throughout the competition, leading to some historic results by teams determined to get that promotion to Division A.

So let’s take a look at the updated Power Rankings Volume 2 for the Women’s Asia Cup Division B.

8. Sri Lanka SRI ( - )

Sri Lanka have played hard up until the very last second of every game, no matter how many points by which they were trailing. It hasn't been enough to get them a win that they've been searching for over two decades, but you can be sure that they will keep on trying.

7. Mongolia MGL ( - 2 )

Obviously, Mongolia would have liked to get a Group Phase win in their FIBA debut, but there's still some work left to be done. The promise and potential is there, seen in their effort and athleticism that resulted in them being among the top two teams in rebounds and blocks.

They also play at a fast pace, which leads to many opportunities to score - but they haven't been efficient enough in converting those opportunities into points, shooting only 27.5 percent from the field and 15.7 percent from three-point range.

Mongolia have one more shot at getting a win in their first Women's Asia Cup appearance in a classification game against Sri Lanka.

6. Kazakhstan KAZ ( - 3 )

Dropping 3 spots in an 8-team Power Ranking might seem like the end of the world, but it's not that bad for Kazakhstan.Tamara Yagodkina has been getting into her groove. Anna Bezgodova has been one of the best bigs in Bangkok, averaging 13.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.

However, it has been rough for them in terms of offensive efficiency. Kazakhstan are the only team advancing out of the Group Phase that have already committed more than 60 turnovers with 70 in total. They can hang and compete with the best in the competition (as evident in the loss to Jordan), but they can also fall behind in a hurry and never bounce back - which is what happened in their loss to Thailand where they turned the ball a staggering 32 times.

5. Malaysia MAS ( + 1 )

To be fair, we did say that Malaysia might have been initially ranked too low and they've been slightly better than expected.. They only have one win, but their losses to Indonesia and Iran were well-fought.

Fook Yee Yap might not be flashy, but she can and has been scoring in bunches as one of the top scorer contenders. As she soaks in the spotlight for her scoring, Kalaimathi Rajintiran has been solid down low with 10.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

4. Iran IRI ( + 3 )

Any coach will tell you that preparation is key heading into any competition, and it seems early on that Iran has proven that right. They won 0 games in 2021 and they won 0 games in their tune-up games right before coming into Bangkok, but once the real games began Iran have looked ready.

The players have continuously praised the impact of having Greek coach Eleni Kapogianni at the head of the bench and it's been well deserved. Iran have their flaws and can be rattled by pressure at times, but they've looked like a solid unit.

3. Thailand THA ( + 1 )

Looking back to opening day, Thailand might actually be heading into the Final Phase with an undefeated record if only they saved themselves a couple of turnovers in the final seconds. But that is what you get from a relatively younger team that have not played in a Women's Asia Cup setting since 2015.

Lack of experience aside, the young core has been impressive, especially team-leading scorer Rattiyakorn Udomsuk and all-around center Thunchanok Lumdappang. This team plays at a quick pace by puts pressure on the ball handlers early and zooming up for fastbreak points. It's best to not get into an open-court running contest with them, as Jordan avoided doing so towards a victory.

2. Indonesia INA ( - 1 )

Indonesia are down a spot here, but it's not a knock on what they've done here in Bangkok. Because what they've been doing is very, very promising.

Sure, Kim Pierre-Louis is dominating to the tune of 22.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game, but this was expected. What's been a bit more intriguing is how comfortable the team looks as a unit and feeding off each others' energy. Indonesia have carved out a unique culture within the team that the players rally behind and get energy from, which will be a crucial factor if Pierre-Louis slows down a bit here and there - which hasn't happened so far.

One area of concern, is that Indonesia are shooting only 20.8 percent from beyond the three-point line.

It was a slight issue when they went up a team like Iran that could make the physicality of their inside players, and could be an issue again as the tournament proceeds. Luckily, they will have an extra day to figure that out or maybe get an additional shoot-around session in get their shooters locked in.

1. Jordan JOR ( + 1 )

"I’m just me, she’s her," said Aisha Sheppard, in reference to comparing her to Natasha Cloud who starred for Jordan at Women's Asia Cup 2021 Division B in Amman.

If there were any concerns about how Jordan would replace that production (yes, that was us), that has been quickly wiped away. Sheppard has taken over and has been scoring like crazy, but it hasn't only been her scoring that has lifted Jordan. Sheppard also makes plays and gets the offense going, giving Jordan another double-digit scorer in Marya Al Hinn and Liliana Abu Jbara who is averaging 9.3 points per game.

There is a small concern for Jordan, however. They lead the competition in free-throw attempts with 23.3 per game but are making only 61.4 percent of those trips to the charity stripe. From the Semi-Finals, the games will get more tense, and these free-throws might end up deciding whether or not a team gets promoted to Division A.

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