Nigeria’s men national basketball team, D’Tigers have dropped ten places to eighteen in the recently released 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Power Rankings.
D’Tigers had been ranked the eighth-best team of the 32-teams that will be competing at the World Cup in China in the first edition of the rankings released last week.
Nigeria aren’t the only side to see their rankings drop with the USA losing top spot to Serbia who moved one place. Greece and Australia also suffered drops while Turkey dropped out of the top 10 entirely.
D’Tigers Group B opponents Argentina remain in 7th place while Russia who play Nigeria in the group opener on Saturday, 31 August in Wuhan make a maiden entrance to the top ten in 8th place.
FIBA explained that D’Tigers ranking has been impacted by a series of off-the-court problems the team has encountered which has affected their preparations for the World Cup with several players taking to Social Media to express their disgust.
D’Tigers have been beset by financial problems which affected their travel plans with the team eventually having to travel to China on borrowed funds for their final pre-World Cup preparation in the Peak Invitational International tournament where they will play against World Cup bound Iran, Montenegro and Poland in Yangzhou.
The Power Rankings – which have no bearing on the actual FIBA world rankings of the teams – are computed by simulating possible scenarios in all phases of the competition – from the First Round of the Group Phase to the Final Phase – to determine which teams come out on top.
The 2019 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup will take place between August 31 and September 15. Nigeria will tackle Russia, Argentina and Korea in Group B as they bid to surpass Egypt’s record for the best-placed African team at the World Cup – fifth place in 1950.