By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
The FIBA country ranking can’t be considered but a honorary list that reflects more than anything else the growth of basketball in a country. However, with the decision for the four World Cup wild cards coming up until the Ferbuary of 2014, the new ranking after the continental championships of 2013 can be taken into account as one of the criteria for the final selection.
With Brazil in the 10th place being the first American team on the list not qualified in the world cup and China in the 12th place being the first Asian team not qualified, their selection seems justified and we have also to add the undeniable fact that those two countries are huge emerging markets.
So the question once more is concentrated in Europe. Greece lost the fourth place in the ranking by Lithuania (432 p.) and now has the fifth place (376 p.), followed by Russia (353 p.) and Turkey (294 p.). France is eighth (280 p.) and Australia ninth (234 p.) in the ranking. Greece, Russia and Turkey are in the run for a wild card and with their raking being so close, it’s evident that the financial and marketing criteria will play a major role in FIBA’s decision. The two other European teams that are interested in a wild card are the 14th in the list Germany (144 p.) and the 21st Italy (73 p.). The top three consists of USA (940 p.), Spain (885 p.) and Argentina (490 p.).