From No. 41, the Philippines climbed to the 40th spot in the recent FIBA men’s world ranking, presented by Nike, after sweeping its two-fifth window games of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Philippines improved world rank
The Philippines, represented by Gilas Pilipinas, improved its ranking after hacking out victories over Jordan, 74-66, and Saudi Arabia, 76-63, in their opponents’ respective home turfs sans Jordan Clarkson and regular mainstays Ravena brothers, Kiefer and Thirdy, who played for Gilas in the fourth window.
Gilas’ slight rise, however, is a far cry from the country’s No. 34 position before the August window qualifiers where they defeated India, 79-63, after bowing to New Zealand, 60-106.
The country dropped to 41st after the fourth window matches that saw Gilas succumb to Lebanon, 81-85 against Lebanon and routing Saudi Arabia, 84-46.
What hurt Gilas’ ranking the most was their dismal ninth overall finish in the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia – the first time that the Philippines failed to even reach the quarterfinals since 2007. It was also the first time the Philippines lost to Japan in 19 years.
Thailand was the biggest riser by moving up 10 spots to 92nd in the ranking after winning all four of their games in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers in the November window.
Spain ranks No.1 over team USA
Meanwhile, Spain made history for grabbing the top spot over erstwhile world men’s basketball leader USA, which reigned on top of the ranking for over 12 years.
Spain, the only second squad to become No. 1 since 2010, amassed 758.6 points while team USA had 757.5 points to be relegated to the second spot.
Rounding up the top 10 are Australia, Argentina, France, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece, and Italy.
Spain lived up to its billing by beating their fifth window games against Italy, 88-84, on November 11 and Netherlands, 84-72, on November 14.
In recent years, Spain showed consistency in every game and competition, clinching the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 titles while also reaching the Tokyo Olympics quarterfinals.
While the United States of America captured the Olympic gold, they dropped out of the World Cup quarterfinals and placed third in the FIBA AmeriCup 2022.
Spain, according to a FIBA report, has evolved over the years as a national team as it also developed a large pool of players through the FIBA qualifiers. Their coach Sergio Scariolo used 29 players with nine of them seeing action in six or more games and three players appearing in nine games.
In Asia, Australia kept its top post with 740.3 points followed by Iran (452.5) in second, replacing New Zealand (431.5) which dropped to third.
China (407.7) retained its fourth spot while Jordan (337.8) jumped to fifth from sixth.
Completing the top 10 are Korea (332.1), Japan (327.9), the Philippines (315.7), Lebanon (307.2), and Kazakhstan (152.5).