By Adebayo Williams
Nigeria's men basketball team, D'Tigers have moved nine up to rank 16th in the latest FIBA Ranking released on Thursday. The African champions outshone their arch rivals, Angola to lift the Nations Cup for the first time last year which earned the country an automatic qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Venezuela (115.4 points), the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship winners have risen to No. 15. Angola (66) and Iran (53.2) dropped eight places to No. 23 and No. 25, respectively, and Germany (31) fell nine places to No. 29.
Nigeria, by this ranking, is now the highest ranked African team while Tunisia who were however, not at the Olympics also gained two steps to now occupy the 21st position from 23rd, ahead of Angola. Serbia (553), after winning two of their five games in Group A of the Olympics' basketball event, have leapfrogged Lithuania and France into third place. They now trail No.1 USA (1000), who won a gold medal at the Olympics for a third straight time, and Spain (665), who finished third. The Serbians, who suffered a heavy defeat to the Americans in the title game, just as they did at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Madrid, are well clear of No. 4 France (444), No. 5 Lithuania (442) and No. 6 Argentina (360). The Lithuanians and Argentinians played at the Olympics and reached the Quarter-Finals but lost to Australia and the USA, respectively. Brazil (323) hosted the Summer Games and climbed two spots to No. 7 despite not advancing to the last eight.
Only FIBA tournaments for full five-a-side teams are used in calculations for the tournaments. Other tournaments, such as regional championships, invitationals, and friendlies are not included. Also not counted are tournaments in FIBA's official competition for three-on-three halfcourt basketball.