It has been a few days since FIBA (International Basketball Federation) released its latest rankings and it has The Bahamas’ senior men’s basketball team dropping by one spot to 57. Bahamian basketball fans, in general, are puzzled by the drop-off in the rankings, given the accomplishments of Bahamian basketball in recent times.
The rankings were published on the FIBA website on Friday. President of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) Eugene Horton said he is not letting the rankings stopping them from pursuing the federation’s mission.
“Our main concern is to make sure we continue to develop basketball in the country, concentrating on youth, Family Islands, and training,” Horton said.
The Bahamas has 199.4 points after being previously ranked 56th in the February 10 rankings. The Bahamas gained 12.7 points since the last rankings. The rankings take into account all games played by 164 national teams in official FIBA competitions and their qualifiers over an eight-year period. More points are given to teams depending on strength of the tournament, if they beat a higher ranked team, and also the margin of victory. To that, Horton said that BBF had no control over it.
It was anticipated that The Bahamas would move up the rankings after having a great showing at the FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Tournament in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, in August. They won that tournament, defeating host nation Argentina twice, the number four ranked team in the world at the time.
The Bahamas won all four of their games and punctuated the tournament with a 82-75 victory over the host in the final. The win not only kept Team Bahamas’ hopes alive for the Olympics, but eliminated Argentina from contention for the Olympics.
The team was arguably one of the best Bahamian basketball teams ever assembled as it included National Basketball Association (NBA) players Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield, DeAndre Ayton and Eric ‘EJ’ Gordon.
Horton is looking ahead to future tournaments for all national teams.
“We plan to continue partnership with new and existing corporate sponsors. We are looking to put the most competitive national teams together (junior and senior male and female) to represent Team Bahamas and continue to make our country proud,” Horton said.
The next action for the senior men’s team will be the FIBA AmeriCup 2025 Qualifiers. The Bahamas was drawn into Group D that includes the United States of America, Puerto Rico and Cuba. The draw took place on August 9.
Each team will play each opponent in its group twice under a home and away format during three windows. They will take place in February and November 2024 and then in February 2025. The top three teams from each of the four groups will qualify for the FIBA AmeriCup 2025.