By REYNALD MAGALLON
Gilas Pilipinas remained at the No. 40 spot in the latest FIBA world men’s ranking following the result of the sixth and final window of the World Cup Asian qualifiers in February.
The Nationals also kept their spot as the eighth best in the region in the last update of the world ranking before the main attraction, the FIBA 2023 World Cup which the country will be co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia happens in August.
The Filipinos split their assignments in the last window of the qualifiers at home, taking down Lebanon 107-96 before dropping a heartbreaking 90-91 decision against Jordan.
Standing firm atop the rankings is Spain as there’s also not much change in the top 20, except for the entry of Puerto Rico which dislodged Iran at the 20th spot. USA sits at the second spot followed by Australia at No.3. Wrapping up the top 5 are Argentina and France.
European teams followed suit with Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece and Italy completing the Top 10. In that list, only Argentina is not participating in the global tiff.
The balance of power in Asia also remained the same with Australia of course leading the way followed by Iran which fell two spots to No. 22. New Zealand (26) and China (27) are third and fourth best in Asia followed by Jordan (33).
Japan is also slowly rising to become an Asian power leapfrogging Korea to finish at the 36th spot while the latter ended up at the 38th place while trailing Philippines in the list is Lebanon at 43rd. Among the top teams in Asia, only Korea is not participating in this year’s World Cup after seeing action in the last two editions.