Boomers rocket up to third in latest FIBA world rankings
The Australian Boomers have rocketed up the FIBA World Rankings following their fourth placing at the World Cup in China, moving into an all-time high ranking of third.
Despite missing out on securing a first ever medal in China, the Boomers have been a major beneficiary of consistently good performances on the world stage. The rankings take into account results from the past eight years, with the Boomers who finished fourth in both Rio and China, also registering a debut FIBA Asia Cup win in 2017.
When it comes to the world rankings, wins against quality opposition are also taken into consideration. Entering the the World Cup as the number 11 ranked team, Australia received extra points for beating higher-ranked teams in France and Lithuania in registering their best ever result at a World Cup.
There was significant movement at the top end of the world rankings, with Australia (673.6) moving up 8 places into third position, leapfrogging the fourth-ranked Argentina (670.5) and fifth-placed France (665.4) in the process.
Argentina who earned silver in China, also moved up a spot at the expense of France, whose overall point tally did increase at the World Cup, but it was not enough to compensate for the gains made by Australia and Argentina.
While it is cold consolation for the Boomers, it is great recognition for the Australian national team who have risen to become one of the most powerful basketball nations in the world across the past 4 years.
The USA have managed to retain their number 1 ranking despite finishing a disappointing seventh at the recent World Cup and well outside of medal contention, having been beaten by France in the quarter finals, and then again by Serbia. Spain held onto second position and closed the gap between them and the USA by claiming gold in China.
The latest rankings are used to determine the last eight teams to secure places in next year's FIBA Olympic Qualification Tournaments. In addition to the 16 teams that earned berths via the World Cup, the two top-ranked countries from each region in the ranking join the 24-team Olympic Qualification Tournament field.
While the Boomers are yet to join the Opals as major event medal winners, they now join their female counterparts in the top 3 of their respective world rankings.
The Opals will enter next week's FIBA Asia Cup as the world number 3 ranked team, and highest ranked team in Asia. They will be looking to avenge for their loss to Japan in the final of the 2017 event, an outcome that relegated them to the silver medal.
Click here to view the full ranking.