Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Dhaka
Dhaka
2-0
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LAST WK: 1

Another game, another dominant win. Took over a half of play for Dhaka to seal the victory, getting valuable contributions from Ali, Ameer, Fahad, Farzad, and Salman. Very well balanced game from the defending champs. They’re taking care of business as an entire unit, they lead the league in PPG and are second in FG Percentage. They have yet to be challenged, but it is more than obvious that it is Dhaka….and everyone else. They take on a young Damascus squad next week, then the beef of their schedule arrives.

2
Lahore
Lahore
2-0
--
LAST WK: 2

Sneaked out a win against a hungry Kazan team. They were able to overcome a career high 20 points from Frank Ozoria and another solid game from Mark Oliver. They were outrebounded, but ultimately, their shot making ability overcame their off game. Anwar had 15 and Waqas had a quiet 6 points and 7 rebounds. They found a way to get a win in a game they probably could’ve lost. They aren’t perfect, but they showed the league that they could win an ugly game yet again. When Anwar, Waqas, and Bilal catch fire, they could join Dhaka at the top of the league. For now, they are not yet on Dhaka’s level.

3
Amman
Amman
2-0
2
LAST WK: 5

Absolutely monster game from Omar Mana, who was almost outplayed by his teammate Moayad Abul-Huda. Moayad added 16 points and 5 boards, albeit he had a sloppy 6 turnoves, he found a way to get the job done against a solid Sana’a team. Jawad Tamimi will need to match the level of play his teammates brought to keep Amman in the top 3. Good contribution from Marwan Tamimi who added two 3s. They’ll have a chance to further exhibit their talent against a very good Mecca team next week.

4
Mombasa
Mombasa
1-1
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LAST WK: 4

Gurjinder Singh made his Muslim Basketball debut and boy was it one for the ages. He and Weiss dominated Fez in every facet of the game in the second half. Surprisingly, Fez was able to really challenge Mombasa for 25 minutes, but then Mombasa turned it up and absolutely ended all hopes Fez had for the upset. Raza’s attempt at a triple double (10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists AND 4 steals) was overshadowed by the play of Gurj and Weiss, but that sort of performance by Raza will further solidify Mombasa’s attempt at redemption. 

5
Sana'a
Sana'a
1-1
2
LAST WK: 3

Just could not keep a young big man off the boards and struggled to buy a 3. Tough to win a game when losing the rebounding battle by 12 missing all 8 attempts from deep. Bright spot is another good performance from Mo Amin, who flirted with another double-double. The team as a whole did not shoot too well, only 16-50 (32%) from the field. Their roster is not built to play under the basket, but they will need to make some adjustments if they want to be competitive at the end of the year. All of the top 4 teams have bigs who can dominate a basketball game – that seems to be the one weakness that could plague Sana’a.

6
Mecca
Mecca
1-1
--
LAST WK: 6

Anas Zubi made his season debut, getting reacquainted with the charity stripe. Don’t have my calculator, but shooting 14-17 from the line is okay *eyes looking left emoji*. Let’s not forget the veteran Ammar Idelbi, who dominated down low, adding 17 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. The only thing lagging the play of Anas and Ammar is the 3 point shooting – looking at you, Malik Zubi, for this one. He can light it up from very deep, but hasn’t yet found his rhythm. Shot a respectable 40% from three-point land, but only 2 makes won’t be enough to complement his brother and Ammar. If he can catch fire, Mecca will be able to play with anyone. They’ll have a chance to beat a top 3 team next week when they dance with Amman. Look for the matchup between Omar Mana (Amman) and Ammar Idelbi. Both are coming off of career games and the winner of that battle in the cylinder will win this game.

7
Jakarta
Jakarta
1-1
--
LAST WK: 7

7.Jakarta – Another tough game for Jakarta, but they forced a whopping 18 turnovers to prevent an 0-2 start. Really no offense to speak of in week 1, they hoped Fursan Abbassi would be able to change that. He struggled in his season debut and the rest of the offense followed. He needs to be their offensive horse – 6 points will not be enough. Ramzy Saleh had a game high of (please swallow the beverage you are sipping on before I make you spit it out) 7 points. This was an ugly, ugly and defensive game, but we have come to love and expect that from the Omar Bros. They were outrebounded and outshot, but experience finds ways to win. I think Jakarta would like to increase their offensive production, but it seems like these kinds of game will be the norm. They will turn their opponents over and find a way to narrowly take care of business. They have Fez next week and if you like seeing more than 40 total points, do not head over to Court B at 8:00. 

8
Istanbul
2
LAST WK: 10

The Turans combined for 25 rebounds, 4 more than their opponents totaled. Very well rounded offensive performance from Istanbul, who surprisingly score the second most points in the league. They also lead the league in rebounds and assists. They’ve proven that they can play offense, but they’ll need to tighten things up on the defensive end if they look to scale the rankings. They’ve given up the 3rd most points, but I am sure that their defense will only get better as the season goes on.

9
Alexandria
--
LAST WK: 9

Very tough game against a team who can play outside and inside with the best of them. Mahdi Masri had a terrific game and got some help from his teammates, but Alexandria struggled to find a basket in the second OT. They also struggled to move the ball a bit, assisting on none of their field goals. Hitting a couple more 3s or free throws may have led to a different outcome, but bottom line was that they struggled to defend Anas Zubi without fouling. They are a slightly above average team who can be more than that, they’ll have a chance to prove that against Lahore next week.

10
Baghdad
Baghdad
1-1
1
LAST WK: 11

Not many teams can overcome the absence of any reserves, let alone a team of this age (we’ll call it ‘experience’ so they don’t get offended). They played very solid defense and frustrated Grenada in all facets of the game. They kept the game extremely slow paced, limiting their opponent’s possessions and capitalizing on their own. They shot a solid 45% from the field while holding Grenada to 27.5%. Baghdad was able to pick its spots and score when they needed to without making many mistakes. They did turn it over 14 times, but they were able to make up for that with terrific defense. They were able to get this win without arguably their best offensive player and with a major contribution from Ahmed ‘James Harden’ Farag. 

11
Granada
Granada
1-1
3
LAST WK: 8

Disappointing loss for a team that has the potential to be terrific. We still see that potential, but we had to knock them down a few spots because of some terrific play around the league. If it wasn’t for 7 steals, one would think Omar Singer did not participate. Bright spot is that Shadi Dahluli showed that he is a force and if he is able to build on this game, he may be able to cover up the rest of his team’s shaky offense. They were able to hold Muhannad Natsheh in check, which is no easy feat. They have a championship caliber defense, but Omar Singer NEEDS to take control of this offense. In seasons past, we’ve seen what this team can do when he is that catalyst, but we have also seen them fall face first when he struggles – and he is struggling mightily right now. Grenada takes on an undefeated Istanbul team who’s only weakness is giving up points – Grenada should have a chance to get their offense cooking.

12
Damascus
1
LAST WK: 13

They dominated most of the game, but could not finish it. Got started on offense early with two 3s from Danny, but the rest of the team struggled to get much offense going. They played a defensively sound Jakarta squad, but Damascus found a way to out rebound them. Muhannad Darwish followed up his solid debut with another strong rebounding game. If this team looks to move up from the underdog role they will play almost every week, they need Hosam Karkis to get going. He is the one guy who can carry a heavy load on offense. He has not been able to show that yet, which has been disappointing, look for him to take on more responsibility running this team. Unfortunately for Damascus, they will play a Dhaka team who can and should obliterate them – no disrespect to Damascus, but they need a couple more weeks (maybe seasons) and some more experience before being able to contend with a championship team.

13
Kazan
Kazan
0-2
1
LAST WK: 14

Gave Lahore all they could handle. Frank O. and Mark have been the bright spots two games into the season. They have some favorable matchups looming – look for them to turn the tide and get a couple wins. Middle of the pack in most statistical categories and lost both games by a combined 3 points. Unfortunate loss in week 1, but brought the necessary effort and intensity to compete with Lahore. If they can play like they did against Lahore, they’ll win a handful of games.

14
Suba
Suba
0-2
2
LAST WK: 12

Overmatched by a tough, gritty, and experienced Istanbul team. Anand showed that he is a solid offensive player in this league for a second consecutive week. Just got totally out rebounded and outplayed played a more complete team. It will be tough for them to get many wins in this league, but they have shown that they can compete. If they start getting some other contributions, maybe they’ll be able to grab a couple games.

15
Tehran
Tehran
0-2
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LAST WK: 15

Nobody might beat Dhaka this season, but I assure you that if only two guys show up to play, you will get smacked by the defending champs. Fortunately for Tehran, they hung in there for the first half. The knockout punch could’ve been much more ferocious than just the 18 point advantage Dhaka had in the second half. Credit to Tehran for hanging in there, but they’ll need better play all around if they want to win some games. They’ll be challenged next week by an above average Sana’a team that should be hungry following their loss to Amman.

16
Fez
Fez
0-2
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LAST WK: 16

Jason Weiss showed he still has it, posting 17 points and 10 rebounds in his season debut. Ed added 12, but not much else for a Fez squad that proved they were not up to the task of playing with a terrific Mombasa team. Exceptional first half was followed with a second half that Fez would like to forget. Mombasa made a run that erased all chances of an upset, overwhelming Fez and outscoring them by 28. Fez has a somewhat favorable matchup with Jakarta next week – both teams struggle to score so an explosion from Ed could allow them to pull off the upset. This game features two of the most fundamentally sound big men in Jason Weiss and Shareef Omar – look for them to show off some terrific footwork, that may be the only watchable part of this game. 


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