Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Dhaka
Dhaka
3-0
--
LAST WK: 1

Started the game off without Farzad…didn’t matter at all. This team has continued to improve regardless of who attends. Ali has become a force in this league and continues to challenge defenses with his athleticism and shooting ability. Unfortunately for Dhaka, it appeared that Fahad went down with some sort of lower leg injury (probably ankle?). In a season that has been pretty much a cakewalk for this bunch, they will need Ammar, Mairaj, or Omar to step up if Fahad misses any significant time. With Fahad, I just cannot see Dhaka losing a game. Without Fahad, they may face a challenge or two.

2
Mombasa
Mombasa
2-1
2
LAST WK: 4

Back to a familiar spot – Mombasa has what appears to be the most significant off-season signing. Gurjinder followed up his MB debut with yet another terrific performance. 24 points and 11 rebounds for Gurj, Raza and Weiss added 14 points each, and the squad as a whole assisted on 23 of 27 field goals. Mombasa has disposed of two lower-tier teams following their shorthanded opening day loss to Dhaka. They may not have beat the competition good enough to solidify themselves as a top 2 team, but this team, with full attendance, may have the only shot at taking down Dhaka. They have a chance next week to prove worthy of the number 2 ranking when they take on Lahore. If you like points, head over to court A at 9:00AM. Setting the over/under at 110 for this one.

3
Mecca
Mecca
2-1
3
LAST WK: 6

After a week 1 loss to Istanbul (without Anas Zubi), Mecca has put up impressive numbers, driving them to two straight wins against two respectable teams. Anas followed up his 24 point performance with 25, albeit a few in the waning seconds. He continues to show why he is the best offensive player in this league, scoring said 25 on 14 shots and 50% shooting. Bilal Abbassi showed why he should be considered the best rebounding guard, hauling in 11 boards. Solid game for Motasem as he was 2 rebounds short of a double double. Another sluggish game for Malik, who will have to pick up his play as teams pay more and more attention to his younger brother. Anas and Bilal will lead the charge, while Ammar Idelbi dominates down low – a formula that could push Mecca to the top of the hill. Not there yet as they’ll need a little bit more from the other guys to compete with a juggernaut such as Dhaka.

4
Lahore
Lahore
2-1
2
LAST WK: 2

Tough loss against an Alexandria team that can compete when their shots fall. They went up in the first half, but without Waqas, they struggled to get much offense going. Anwar had 12 and 7, a game that he will be the first to say that is not good enough to beat a solid team. Off shooting game for a group that is capable of scoring 42 in a half. Won’t knock them too much, they still are a top quartile team. As mentioned before, they and Mombasa meet up next week in what should be a terrific game.

5
Amman
Amman
2-1
2
LAST WK: 3

For the second straight week (can even say third), Omar Mana has been an absolute menace on the boards. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to win when only 1 guy shows up. Jawad and Moayad combined for a whopping 8 points on 29 field goal attempts – that will not get it done. If it wasn’t for Muhammad Mustafa, this game would’ve been significantly uglier for Amman than it already was. They’re young, so this performance will not be taken as seriously as it probably should be taken. Games like this happen, now let’s see if Jawad decides to make his season debut.

6
Istanbul
2
LAST WK: 8

Their undefeated record speaks for itself. I hope they do not look at the teams above them and say that they were snubbed of a higher ranking. They’ve taken down Mecca and Grenada, two teams that have legitimate title aspirations, buuut…Mecca was missing their guy and they got Grenada in a poor shooting game. If they continue to take down their opponents, regardless of who they are, Istanbul will move up. They still do not have that fear a top 4 team exudes, but they are getting there. They have some winnable games coming up, so if they blindfold themselves from this noise and just take care of business, they’ll get to where they probably believe they should already be.

7
Alexandria
2
LAST WK: 9

Could potentially be undefeated if it wasn’t for a double OT loss against Mecca in week 2. They’ve solidified themselves as a team that needs to be taken seriously. No, they aren’t a championship contender right now, the Masri brothers are somewhat erratic, but they find ways to compete, whether it’s by playing defense or making big time shots. Held Lahore to 38% shooting and 42 points – impressive.

8
Jakarta
Jakarta
1-2
1
LAST WK: 7

They put up 30 to start the game – with their defense, they shouldn’t need much more to beat a static team like Fez. Take out their 3 point attempts and they shot 18-35 from the field (50%+). Cannot really put my finger on why they lost…shooting 10% from deep isn’t optimal, but again, 46 points could be a 20 point win for this group. In some sense this could be a positive takeaway for Jakarta as they were able to put up a season high of 46 while Ramzy went 0-9 from 3. They surrendered a good game to Jason Weiss, but still, it wasn’t a tremendous game. Ed added an extremely inefficient 15, but again, that shouldn’t be enough to beat Jakarta. Scratching my head at this one, not really sure how to feel. If they can score like this regardless of the shooting percentage, they should win plenty of games because their defense is just that stingy. They’ll need everything to click to compete against Mecca next week.

9
Granada
Granada
1-2
2
LAST WK: 11

They flashed some terrific play, unfortunately they couldn’t overcome a small deficit with roughly 10 minutes left. Week after week I say that they have tremendous talent, probably as much as the top 5 teams – It just hasn’t translated yet. It’s strange looking at their box score and even the feel of the games overall, they just never really possess the ball. They took 10 less attempts from the field, took better care of the ball, and outrebounded their opponents, yet it just feels like they cannot get the ball in the hoop. With the pace Omar Singer likes to play at and with a running big man, they should be taking 50+ shots a game. They played solid defense, ran when they had the opportunity, and played with solid intensity. The whole team seemed engaged, but they just could not get it to click. I think there will be a play this season or a string of plays that flip the switch. Shadi had a solid game for a big, but he is much better than the level he is play

10
Sana'a
Sana'a
1-2
5
LAST WK: 5

Not sure why they struggled. Mo Amin is putting up double doubles, but they just aren’t as dominant and they are on paper. He was a tremendous role/complimentary player in D1, so I would assume he could take over games on this level of play. He could be in the 25-28 point range because the offense should flow through him. Mo would have had 20 had he knocked in all his shots from the charity stipe, but regardless, that still is not his ceiling –  that should be his floor. The team just doesn’t look as good in person as it does on paper. Beyond terrible shooting percentage – shooting less than 10% from 3-point land does not add confidence. Thought that big men would be their weakness, but they got handled by a team with no legitimate big. There was maybe a 10 minute span when Sana’a didn’t give up a single point, yet could not take the game. Maybe they just need some more time, I really do not know. They’ll get a chance to work out the ki

11
Kazan
Kazan
1-2
2
LAST WK: 13

Got their first win under their belt, now where will they go? Solid game all around from these guys, everyone found a way to make some sort of contribution. They’ll need that and more to beat some better teams. Gave Lahore all they could handle last week, so this team should not be taken lightly. Istanbul will test them next week.

12
Tehran
Tehran
1-2
3
LAST WK: 15

Beat a team that, on paper, should’ve beaten them – I applaud Tehran for that. They forced Sana’a to struggle, but man, they had an extremely ugly stretch when they just could not do anything. Luckily for them, Sana’a also couldn’t do enough to make them pay. Had a handful of guys in double digits, but no one really stood out and caught my eye. They played solid team defense, holding a capable scorer in Mo Amin to 14. Turnovers will be a problem when they play a team that can finish in transition.

13
Baghdad
Baghdad
1-2
3
LAST WK: 10

Gave this veteran squad a lot of love for their display of experience against Granada. They followed a statement win with a flop – they came out flat and just could not get themselves back in the game. They’ll be looking for redemption with the upcoming matchup against Tehran. Winner of that game could leapfrog into becoming a middle of the pack team depending on the outcome of some other games in the league.

14
Fez
Fez
1-2
2
LAST WK: 16

Will say this once more for another team, but I just don’t know how this team won. Jakarta looked better with the eye test, Jakarta looks better on the box score. Ed had 15, but shot under 25% from the field. Jason had a solid game, but it didn’t pop out. Great for them to get this win, but this seemed more like a Jakarta dud then a Fez victory. Still, they got their first game and showed that you cannot sleepwalk through this team.

15
Damascus
3
LAST WK: 12

Ouch. They weren’t ready for Dhaka just yet - they weren’t even ready for shorthanded and distracted Dhaka team. Dhaka spent more time trying to get Ammar Zidat to outscore his brother than trying to get good looks at the basket. Dhaka looked like they were just playing in the park and just breezed by Damascus with their talent alone. Damascus needs to realize that they must run an offense and string together defensive effort because they just lack the overall talent needed to be successful. Hosam showed a glimpse of what he can do – played a couple possessions of terrific defense against Farzad and tried to force his will on the offensive end. I said it and I’ll say it again, he has to do more for them to even have a chance.

16
Suba
Suba
0-3
2
LAST WK: 14

Gave Mombasa some issues in the second half. Had a couple breakout games from Neil and Shahaan, but Mombasa is often lethargic defensively when their offense is working against what they believe to be lesser competition. Don’t be surprised if they take down Sana’a next week, but I’ll need to see a 1 in the W column before I put another team behind them.


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