After sealing qualification for the next round of qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Nigeria, D’Tigers climb 1 spot to number 22 in the latest FIBA World Ranking Men.
The 2015 AfroBasket champion, went 2-1 in the group stage, dropping the first to Cape Verde before winning the next two against Mali and Uganda, a result which was enough for them to book a place in the final qualifying round, with target set on picking one of the five slots allocated to Africa for the mundial.
D’Tigers remains the number one team in Africa.
The biggest mover in the World Ranking was Cape Verde, Semi-Finalists at this past summer’s FIBA AfroBasket. The Blue Sharks have jumped 26 points to No. 74 after opening their African Qualifiers campaign with a 79-71 upset of No. 23 Nigeria, and following that with narrow defeats to higher-ranked Uganda and Mali.
Cote d’Ivoire also benefited from strong play in November, rising six places to No. 40 after a stunning come-from-behind win over Angola, and big triumphs over both Central African Republic and Guinea.
Lithuania leapfrogging Italy for the No. 8 spot constitutes the only movement inside the top 10 after the Baltic giants romped to an 89-69 home victory over Bulgaria and a 74-66 win away at No. 12 Czech Republic, while Italy split their games against Russia and Netherlands.
Belgium’s rise to No. 36 owes to their convincing 83-57 victory at Slovakia and a thrilling, come-from-behind 73-69 triumph over No. 6 Serbia in the European Qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Sweden climbed six places to No. 51 because of solid efforts against much higher-ranked teams. They were impressive at home against No. 34 Finland, claiming a 72-62 success in Stockholm, and in their next game at No. 4 Slovenia, only fell, 94-89.
In Asia, Saudia Arabia confirmed their solid showings in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers 2021 were no fluke in two games against Jordan, a much higher-ranked country at No. 39. Jordan won the first encounter by just seven points and the Saudis prevailed in the second by eight points, leading to their jump of eight positions to No. 79 in the World Ranking.