THE Philippines retained its 31st ranking in the current Fiba World Ranking Men as of March 2, 2021 and also kept its sixth position in Fiba Asia. That's consistent, wouldn't you agree?
The country's standing would have improved or dropped if the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) global pandemic did not happen.
The latest ranking, presented by Nike, was released despite restricted activities by the world's governing body in basketball.
As usual, the world's Big Five - USA (781.8 points), Spain (721.3 points), Australia (667), Argentina (662.4), and Serbia (662) also kept the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively. The USA, No. 2 Spain, No. 3 Australia and No. 5 Serbia were unbeaten in the window of Fiba Continental Cup Qualifiers even as Argentina defeated Chile only to lose to Colombia.
Rounding up the top 10 were Greece (658.5), France (656), Lithuania (634.6), Russia (613.3), and Italy (596.4).
The Philippines (340.8), also held its No. 6 post in Asia behind World No. 3 Australia, Iran (432.1), New Zealand (421.8), China (363.7), and South Korea (341.1).
But the Filipinos are undoubtedly still No. 1 in Southeast Asia (SEA) followed by Indonesia (103.4), Thailand (90.9), and Singapore (83.6) in the next three spots.
The new Fiba World Ranking Men replaced the competition-based system with a game-based one to accurately reflect the performances of more national teams.
"It also makes it possible to update the ranking more regularly, after every window of Qualifiers and following the conclusion of top official Fiba competitions, and allows national teams to see their evolution," Fiba said on its website.
The past system, which did not include national teams, was based on an outdated weighting system centered on the final standings of tournaments and with results during the eight-year period all carrying the same weight and receiving the exact same value. The Qualifiers were also not included then.
The new ranking system caters to a greater number of teams, and factors in all official games from regional pre-qualifiers all the way to the Fiba Basketball World Cup Final.
This is by far a better basis to rank the teams as it allows more opportunities for low ranking teams to improve their positions.
Will this new ranking system make a difference for the Philippines in the near future? I certainly hope so.