Philippines ranks 28th in FIBA, third in Asia
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Tremendous improvement in FIBA world rankings by the Philippines is among the significant feats basketball patron Manny V. Pangilinan is leaving behind as he steps down as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president in January.

Once languishing outside the Top 50 in the men’s ranking, the Philippines made a remarkable strides to the Top 30 under the leadership of Pangilinan.

At the end of the recent FIBA zonal Olympic qualifiers, the Philippines jumped three rungs up to 28th, No. 3 in Asia behind China and Iran.

The Philippines surged past Korea and Jordan, following its second straight runner-up finish in the FIBA Asia Championship.

Jordan stayed at No. 29 while Korea slid from 28th to 30th.

In women’s ranking, the Philippines, together with Egypt, is the biggest gainer, moving up nine notches up to 49th with its progression from Level II play to Level I in the FIBA Asia Championship.

“The hard work of our teams, coaches and players paid off. I’m sure the nation is happy, and that’s what MVP wants,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

The rise in ranking of Team Phl in international competition is among the biggest accomplishments of the national cage federation under Pangilinan.

SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas also mentioned the federation president breaking into the FIBA Central Board. Pangilinan was given a seat on that powerful board.

Before Pangilinan took over the leadership in the national cage federation, the Philippines was buried deep down the rankings in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Team Phl was behind China, Iran, Korea, Lebanon, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Qatar and Kazakhstan in the Asian men’s ladder.

But it’s been on a steady climb since Gilas Pilipinas’ fourth-place finish in the 2011 Asian joust in Wuhan. It was the country’s best finish in the biennial meet since coach Joe Lipa steered Alvin Patrimonio, Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc and their group also to a fourth-place windup in Bangkok in 1987.

The Philippines moved further up with its runner-up finish in the FIBA Asia Championship in Manila in 2013 followed by its 21st finish in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

From the world meet, the Philippines jumped three rungs up to 31st.

In the latest ranking, the Philippines ranks higher than strong American and European teams like Finland (32), Panama (33), Italy (35), Israel (37), Poland (38) and Ukraine (38).

The United States and Spain have kept their first and second spots while Lithuania dislodged Argentina at third.

Ranked fifth to 10 are France, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Greece.

China remains the highest-ranked Asian team at 14th followed by Iran at 17th.

 

ACIRC ALVIN PATRIMONIO AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE PANGILINAN BENJIE PARAS BRAZIL AND GREECE CENTRAL BOARD PANGILINAN PHILIPPINES TEAM PHL
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