Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Dhaka
Dhaka
4-1
--
LAST WK: 1

Missing two of their starters, a lot of pressure was put on Ameer and Farzad to produce against a terrific team. Unfortunately, they both struggled mightily, combining to shoot 4/30 from the field. Salman had a solid game, but the lack of depth and Lahore’s rekindled ability to run the floor and exploit defenses in transition left Dhaka in the dust. I have to give them a pass – Ali served his suspension and will return next week, while Fahad still remains sidelined with an ankle injury. My sources tell me that he should be ready for next week – we’ll see what happens. I don’t expect Farzad to struggle like this again this season, Ali will be back next week, and Fahad should be returning soon. They’ll pick up right where they left off. They have a very tough schedule remaining – Dhaka takes on a hot Alexandria team who has only dropped a single game thi

2
Mombasa
Mombasa
4-1
--
LAST WK: 2

Started the game off with only four guys, eventually finished it off with 4 following the disqualification of one of their five. Huge game from Raza, who seems to pick Mombasa up whenever they need it. They played without Gurj, and other than Weiss’ 17 points, it was a one-man show. It was just enough to beat a pesky Damascus squad who finds a way to keep games competitive. Mombasa’s biggest concern (aside from attendance) should be rebounding. They put up solid numbers all season long, but they have also been exposed on the glass a few times. Damascus doubled them up on the boards and had 3 guys finish with double digit rebounds. Fortunately for them, they forced 20 turnovers and were able to sneak by with a win. They’ll need a full squad and intense rebounding effort to get by a Mecca team that’s looking to bounce back after a blowout loss.

3
Lahore
Lahore
3-2
1
LAST WK: 4

Vintage Lahore was on full display – The Ahmed brothers did what they do best: run the floor. They were relentless in transition and forced the ball down the court every time the opportunity presented itself. Both Waqas and Anwar finished the game with 18 points each on a combined 17/31 from the field. Efficient game where they were able to get easy baskets – something they struggled to do in their first four games. They take on Tehran next week, so look for them to get the offense flow going even more.

4
Alexandria
1
LAST WK: 5

Impressive win for this bunch – they’ve found ways to win by just outshooting their opponents, they’ve found ways to win by playing defense. Three ball wasn’t falling and they got outrebounded significantly, but they found a way to score enough points to complement some solid defense. In a matchup of 1 loss teams, Alexandria takes on Dhaka in a game that could have playoff ranking implications. Head over to court B at 9:00 to watch what should be a shootout. Both teams can put up points – they both average over 50 points and rank in the top 3 in points per game.

5
Amman
Amman
3-2
1
LAST WK: 6

They changed things up a bit and brought Jawad off the bench – that decision paid dividends. By far his best performance of the season, complemented by a solid game from Moayad and another double digit rebound game from Omar Mana. They did not shoot efficiently, but they were able to dominate the glass, hold onto the ball, and steal the ball 10 times. If Jawad continues this level of play, Omar Mana remains a beast under the rim, and Moayad continues to force action towards the basket, Amman will be in a terrific position to compete at the end of the season. The three-headed monster that they have built will be a handful for every team they face – next up is a date with their former captain, Ibrahim Omar, and his Jakarta squad, a game Amman is definitely looking forward to.

6
Granada
Granada
3-2
2
LAST WK: 8

Grenada – Omar Singer finally threw his coming out party and the Zubi brother’s were the first to attend. Offensively, he asserted his will from the get go, hitting couple 3s too get Granada off to a fast start. Defensively, he stifled Anas Zubi and frustrated him early on. This was the kind of game Granada needed from him, and everyone else showed up to the party. Ramy continued his solid play, adding an efficient 12 points, Omar Qasem added 15 points, and Shadi had another solid double-double. Every aspect of the game clicked for this squad and this performance could be foreshadowing what they can do as the season goes on. Their second half of the season is no cakewalk – they may arguably have the most difficult 5 game stretch. They’ll need to build on this victory and string a couple wins together. If they can do so, look for them so make some serious noise.

7
Istanbul
--
LAST WK: 7

Has their hot start cooled off? Back to back losses where their offense just did not click. Outside from an inefficient 11 from Adam, no one else had double digits. They shot less than 30% from the field and less than 20% from deep. They need to show the league that they can play both ends of the court again before entering the contenders discussion. They face a Damascus team that finds a way to give good team some trouble – this will be a test for Istanbul.

8
Mecca
Mecca
3-2
5
LAST WK: 3

After surrendering a quick start to Granada, they just looked discouraged. Anas and Malik Zubi combined for 36, but got no contribution other than 8 points from Billal. Anas can only carry this team so far – they need to get more contribution from the rest of the squad, or play better defense. They let Granada do what they wanted, when they wanted. Things do not get easier from here – Mecca takes on a Mombasa team that pounces on the smell of blood. They need to come in this game ready to weather any storm and play a full 40 minutes.

9
Jakarta
Jakarta
2-3
1
LAST WK: 10

They’ve struggled this season, but their defense found a way to get them a second win. They scored enough points against the league’s top ranked defense (PPG), but Jakarta’s defense won them this one. They made Sana’a look and play tired, a testament to each of the seven guys on this team. They hustle, box out, run when they have the chance, and just outwork their opponents. They struggle to score though, and shooting under 35% does not help. Fortunately for them, their defense will give them plenty of opportunities to win games as the season goes on. They’ll need to have their best defensive performance for them to have a shot at beating some familiar faces when they take on Amman.

10
Kazan
Kazan
3-2
1
LAST WK: 11

If it wasn’t for some very good free throw shooting, they may not have escaped with this one. They were able to weather the storm brought by Jason Weiss, keep a pretty good shooter in Ed 0/8 from deep, and dominate the boards. A win is a win, but going 0/16 from three and shooting under 30% from the field is not a recipe for success. They continue to show that they can win games, but they’ll be tested in two weeks when they take on Mombasa.

11
Sana'a
Sana'a
2-3
2
LAST WK: 9

They looked exhausted as the game wore on, Raied’s hot start was extinguished, and Mo Amin just did not do enough for his team. If it wasn’t for Raied and Mo’s 22 points, this could’ve been significantly uglier. Their defense looks terrific, but they gave up 38 to a team that ranks in the bottom quarter of the league in offensive production, a team that averages 34 (it was even lower than that before the 38 Jakarta scored this week). On paper, they appear to be a solid team, but it just has not materialized. They beat two bad teams and have a loss to another bad team. They have not been impressive, but they’ll have a chance at redemption when they take on an above average Granada team.

12
Baghdad
Baghdad
2-3
--
LAST WK: 12

Got very little from everyone except Zak, who didn’t have Muhannad running the show alongside him. There really wasn’t any offense to speak of and defensively, they just gave up too much. Before and even after Omar Khalaf showed up, they could not keep Omar Mana off the boards. Baghdad shot far too poorly to have a chance against a top 5 caliber team. They have two quality wins, but they cannot get any consistent play. They take on Fez next week in a game that they should be able to handle.

13
Damascus
--
LAST WK: 13

They lost to a terrific team who was short a couple guys, but it is no easy task to stop Raza and Weiss. Hosam Karkis had the type of game we’ve been waiting for from him, Ahmed Sehwail also had a solid game, but it just wasn’t enough to sneak a win by Mombasa. These boys can rebound, but they’ll need to get some more baskets to fall to turn close games into wins. The heart this team has is admirable though, they play hard and show a promising future.

14
Fez
Fez
1-4
1
LAST WK: 15

If it wasn’t for Jason Weiss, this game would’ve been very, very ugly. Ed struggled from all over the floor and no one else had any contribution to speak of. Lucky for them they take on Baghdad, a game they can win.

15
Suba
Suba
1-4
1
LAST WK: 16

Anand had an alright game, he and Shahaan did enough to get their team the win. They played good defense, but Tehran’s offense is tied for least PPG. They have a couple winnable games left on the schedule, so they could make some noise and move up the bottom third of the rankings.  

16
Tehran
Tehran
1-4
2
LAST WK: 14

No offense to speak of, you just have no chance in this league scoring 26 in a game. They struggle shooting the ball and they give up 10 more points per game than they score. Other than a game against Fez, I cannot see them get any more wins this year. Hopefully they prove me wrong.


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