Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, have risen to the16th spot in the latest world rankings released by the International Basketball Federation, FIBA.
D’Tigers, though failing to make it past the group stage in the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, garnered some points that helped them improve on their pre-Rio ratings.
According to the monthly ranking 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 perennial rivals, Angola, who fell 8 steps from 15th to 23rd.
Incidentally, D’Tigers beat Angola at last year’s Afrobasket in Tunisia on their way to their first triumph on the continent.
For Tunisia, although they were not at the Olympics, they gained two steps to now occupy the 21st position from 23rd spot.
Behind 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 United States remained the number one team on the Rankings 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.