FIBA world rankings are computed according to an eight-year cycle, taking into account the following tournaments:
- Continental championships (FIBA Asia, FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, Eurobasket, FIBA Oceania)
- FIBA World Cup (FIBA World Championship until 2010)
- Olympic basketball tournament
FIBA released its latest rankings after the Eurobasket tournament, and there were some teams that moved more than others.
Whenever a new tournament is played, the one that took place eight years before is dropped from the computation. Teams' placings in the tournaments determine the points they have gained or lost and affect their world rankings.
Here are the teams who have fallen big time in the latest FIBA world rankings. Some of them performed miserably in their respective continental championships, while others simply failed to qualify.
11. Cuba (50 to 57, -7)
After placing 10th in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship, Cuba have struggled to keep their bearings in 2013. They failed to qualify for the 2013 edition of the tournament after going from 4th to 8th in the 2012 Centrobasket, their worst ever performance.
10. Bosnia and Herzegovina (50 to 57, -7)
While Bosnia and Herzegovina's 13th-place performance at the 2013 FIBA Eurobasket was an improvement from their previous placing of 17th in 2011, their non-qualification in 2007 and 2009 seem to have dragged down their ranking. It is a disappointment to see a team with so much talent placing that low, but they have a good core that is poised to make waves.
9. Kuwait (63 to 70, -7)
After consistent appearances at FIBA Asia from 1999 to 2009, Kuwait were left out in 2011 and 2009. This could be attributed to the limited number of slots given to Gulf Region teams, and the fact that Bahrain have been steadily improving. The present team is also lacking in height; the tallest player is just around 6'3".
8. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (69 to 76, -7)
After winning the bronze medal in 1999, Saudi Arabia's performance has been nothing short of erratic. They qualified for the 2005 edition, placing 8th, but did not qualify again until 2013, when they were drawn into a cutthroat Group A which had semifinalists Chinese Taipei and the Philippines and lost all their group games. They have a good thing going, though, as 22-year-old center Mohammed Almarwani led the tournament in rebounds, averaging 10 a game.
7. Bulgaria (40 to 48, -8)
The effects of Todor Stoykov's retirement in 2009 are still being felt four years after. After a string of 13th-place finishes in the late 2000s, the Bulgarians failed to qualify for the 2013 Eurobasket. This no-show knocked off the 13th-place finish they achieved in 2005 in the ranking computations. Not all is lost, though, as they have put together a pool consisting of Euroleague veterans. No word if E. J. Rowland will still be part of the pool though.
6. Central African Republic (46 to 55, -9)
A stunning 13th-place performance in the 2013 FIBA Africa tournament wiped out all signs of the Central African Republic's basketball heyday in the early 2000s, when they placed fifth twice. Forward Max Mombollet, at 32, is no longer the spring chicken he used to be, and the team was forced to rely on a team that had six players aged 24 or younger.
5. Morocco (50 to 59, -9)
Morocco managed to hold on to their eighth-place finish at the 2013 FIBA Africa tournament, but they needed to do much better if they were to retain their world ranking. Sadly, the ranking computation meant that they had to give up their sixth-place finish in 2005. It doesn't seem like the slide is going to end soon, as five of their players are aged 31 or older.
4. Algeria (71 to 80, -9)
The 12th-place finish Algeria managed to cobble together in FIBA Africa 2013 was a marked improvement from 2007 to 2011, when they failed to even qualify for the tournament. However, considering that the Algerians placed fourth in 2005, the new ranking is a pretty clear indication that not all right in Algiers. With European league veteran Ali Bouziane having retired, Algeria needs to find new players that can score, above everything else.
3. Indonesia (58 to 68, -10)
After qualifying for the FIBA Asia tournament four straight times since 2005, Indonesia failed in the qualifier for the 2013 edition, as Thailand and Malaysia stamped their class in the zonal tournament. Despite a healthy domestic scene and exposure via the ASEAN Basketball League, including a couple of finals appearances for the Indonesia Warriors, it seems that the team's veterans, including former NCAA Division I standout Mario Wuysang, are about to hang their sneakers.
2. Uzbekistan (61 to 71, -10)
The Uzbeks have been consistent FIBA Asia Championship qualifiers the past decade, missing only the 2007 edition. However, after failing to qualify for Manila 2013, they saw their 11th-place finish in 2005 vanish into thin air. The Middle Asia zone also has a lot of up-and-coming teams, such as India and Kazakhstan, that tend to crowd out Uzbekistan from the title picture.
1. Mali (49 to 62, -13)
The Mali national basketball team was a huge disappointment at the 2013 FIBA Africa competition, placing 15th out of 16 teams. They won only one game, against Burkina Faso, and the performance expunged their 8th-place finish in the 2005 tournament from the records. Couple that factor with the rise of non-traditional powers such as Egypt, and you've got a recipe for a ranking tumble. Two of their tallest players are also approaching retirement, which puts the grassroots program of Mali basketball in the hot seat.
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