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Philippines climbs to world No. 31 in latest Fiba Rankings

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 03:44 PM September 17, 2014
Philippines' Japeth Aguilar, left, and teammate Jim Alapag, right, celebrates after winning the match at the end of the match  against Senegal during the Group B Basketball World Cup match between the Philippines and Senegal in Seville, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. The 2014 Basketball World Cup competition will take place in various cities in Spain from Aug. 30 through to Sept. 14. AP

Philippines’ Japeth Aguilar, left, and teammate Jim Alapag, right, celebrates after winning the match at the end of the match against Senegal during the Group B Basketball World Cup match between the Philippines and Senegal in Seville, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas’ gutsy showing in the 2014 Fiba World Cup had the country climbing three spots to No. 31 in the latest Fiba Rankings.

The Philippines went just 1-4, with its only win coming at the expense of Senegal and, failed to advance into the second round of the tournament but gave its opponents a run for their money.

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Playing in its first appearance in the world stage in 36 years, Gilas was deemed as a pushover in Group B with powerhouses Croatia, Greece and Argentina as overwhelming favorites and Puerto Rico and Senegal also favored over the Filipinos.

But the perception quickly changed when Gilas dragged Croatia into overtime in its first game before losing by just three points. The Philippines then gave Greece a hard time too and did so too to world No. 3 Argentina. And if not for JJ Barea’s late-game heroics for Puerto Rico, Gilas could’ve been 4-1 with the 12-point loss at the hands of the Greeks the only convincing defeat.

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The early exit though, won’t undermine the Philippines’ steady improvement over the past several years as the country aims to put itself back as one of the teams to reckon with not only in Asia but in the world. And the improvement from 34th to 31st in the world is a testament to it.

Meanwhile, Team USA, bannered by NBA stars, remained at the helm after its gold-medal romp. Spain, despite a disappointing fifth place finish, stayed in second. Argentina (3rd) and Lithuania (4th) also maintained their positions.

France, which knocked off host Spain in the quarterfinals and went on to bag the bronze medal, improved three places to enter the top five.

Greece slipped five spots to No. 10, Croatia upped its ranking to 12th, Puerto Rico also improved to 15th while Senegal, the biggest movers, leaped 11 places to 30th after advancing to the Round of 16.

The Philippines is the fourth highest-ranked squad in Asia, trailing China (14), Iran (17), and Korea (27).

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TAGS: Basketball, FIBA, Fiba Rankings, Gilas, Gilas Pilipinas, United States
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