THE national men’s basketball team, the D’Tigers may not have qualified for the quarter-finals at the just concluded 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil but they have emerged better than they were before the Games as figures released by the sport’s world governing body, FIBA show.
According to the monthly ranking just released by FIBA, Nigeria emerged the biggest climbers on the ranking from 25th before the Games to 16th now, just below Venezuela, another country that improved tremendously on the table to 15 from their previous 22.
By this Ranking, Nigeria is now the highest ranked African team, overtaking perpetual rivals Angola who incidentally also fell to the D’Tigers at last year’s Afrobasket in Tunisia while Tunisia who were however, not at the Olympics also gained two steps to now occupy the 21st position from 23rd, ahead of Angola who fell 8 steps from 15th to 23rd.
After Nigeria and Venezuela who were the biggest climbers, Serbia who lost the Olympic gold to the USA also climbed three spots from 6th to 3rd while Brazil gained two steps to now occupy the 7th spot.
The USA remain top of the Ranking and are followed by Spain, semi final losers at the Olympics. Serbia, France, Lithuania, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Russia and Australia make up the top 10 countries in that order.