MANILA, Philippines, September 18 ------ Gilas Pilipinas improved by two spots and placed 38th in the latest FIBA world rankings. The Philippines finished 24th out of 32 teams in the recently-concluded FIBA World Cup it co-hosted with Japan and Indonesia. It notched one win at the expense of China in their final game during the classification phase behind 34 points from naturalized guard Jordan Clarkson. Meanwhile, Australia remains the highest-ranked Asia Pacific team at fourth, although it got leapfrogged by World Cup champion Germany, which climbed eight notches to third.
Japan, which secured an automatic qualification to the Paris Olympics next year by finishing as the best Asian country in the World Cup with a 3-2 record, improved 11 spots to 26th. Lebanon, which won two games in the World Cup, went up 16 spots to 28th. On the other hand, the biggest riser in the list is South Sudan, now the highest-ranked African team at 31st as it ascended from 62nd place. South Sudan secured the outright Olympic berth for African nations after a memorable World Cup debut led by NBA guard Carlik Jones.
The United States regained the top spot in the world rankings despite finishing fourth in the World Cup. Spain, which failed to defend its World Cup crown after being eliminated by Canada in the second round, slipped to second.