With just a couple of days to go before the start of the 2019 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup in China, Nigeria’s D’Tigers have rebounded by eleven places to seventh in the latest FIBA World Cup Power Rankings released on Wednesday.
Serbia and the USA occupy the top two positions, same as the last edition but Australia are ranked third after they jumped six spots from ninth.
D’Tigers, previously ranked 8th in the first edition of the Power Rankings dropped ten places to eleventh in the second edition on the back of off-court problems which affected their preparations and travel arrangements.
An impressive showing in their last pre-World Cup tune-up – the recently concluded Peak Invitational – which D’Tigers won by overcoming a 13 points deficit against Montenegro has seen them enter into reckoning once again.
Seventh place on the latest rankings points to an expectation that D’Tigers can make the quarterfinals of the tournament at the very least.
The latest edition of the rankings also marks the first time that Nigeria will be ranked higher than all their Group B opponents with Argentina down one spot to eighth, Russia falling out of the top ten entirely to 20th and Korea in 27th.
The Power Rankings – which have no bearing on a country’s actual world ranking – is computed by simulating every possible scenario in the Group and Final Phases to determine a country’s final placement at the end of the tournament.
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.