Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Dhaka
Dhaka
5-2
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LAST WK: 1

Their margin of superiority has dwindled, nonetheless, they are still the best team in the league. Unfortunately for them, they caught a Mecca team who NEEDED this game and they themselves struggled to shoot. Farzad’s performance was definitely a bright spot in the loss, as he had his best game of the year, dropping 27 while shooting a terrific 5/6 from deep. He’ll need some help from the other guys though. It is difficult to win when your 3 complementary guys shoot 7/29 and your big is held to 4 points. I’m sure that they are beyond confident that they can play at a significantly higher level to end the regular season and defend their title. They have three respectable opponents left on their schedule – they’ll have a chance to reestablish themselves as the clear favorites.

2
Jakarta
Jakarta
4-3
3
LAST WK: 5

Last week I said they were a defensive powerhouse and boy did they prove me right. Another game where they kept their opponents under 40 points, add to that a very solid game from Shareef, and you have a team poised to compete. They find a way to get timely offense when they need it most – it isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done. I doubt that they will continue to shoot such low percentages, as they have three guys in Ramzy, Fursan, and Islam who can get hot in the blink of an eye. If they can get some more consistent offense, their defense will not be under such heavy pressure. Knowing Ibrahim though, he has no issue winning games 10-9. They also have a tough three game stretch to end the season, nothing better than some competitive games before they really start to matter.

3
Alexandria
1
LAST WK: 4

They have been the biggest surprise this season thus far. Their ability to shoot the ball and score is unreal. Of the guys that have played in at least five games, they have five guys who are averaging at least 9 points – they are an extremely well rounded offensive attack. If you have four guys scoring 18, 12, 18, and 19, you will lose very few games. They shoot over 43% from the field and roughly 33% from deep, both are league highs. From what I saw in their last game, they have a tendency to try and create shots on their own, not through ball movement. They have two very visible flaws: they do not move the ball around, nor do they rebound well. Both of which have yet to be exploited by their opponents, simply because Alexandria just outshoots them. They may be a weak defensive team, but they force turnovers and make you pay in transition. They also end the season with three very good teams, so they’ll have a chance to cement themselves as potentially the top team goin

4
Mombasa
Mombasa
5-2
2
LAST WK: 2

I don’t understand their attendance problem. It seems like week in and week out, they only have 4 or 5 guys. If Gurg was there, I have no doubt they would have won this game. They did everything they could, but it is not easy when you have no reserves. Raza had a very solid game, Sadat had a season high of 13, and Weiss did what he always does down low. It just wasn’t enough against a Kazan squad that is seeking attention. I cannot knock them further down because we all know how good this team can be when they have all their players. They’ll need all the offense they can get in a big game against Alexandria next week.

5
Lahore
Lahore
4-3
2
LAST WK: 3

Very good first half, could not contain Raied and Mo in the second half. I know Waqas, Anwar, and Bilal are all disappointed in their offensive output this week, especially in the second half. They’ve been terrific for the majority of the season, but the slightly inconsistent play may come to haunt them. They do have three guys who can absolutely dominate a basketball game though, so do not expect another let down any time soon from this bunch. They take on Granada next week and end their season against Mecca, two games that they’ll need to play well in to win. Both those teams will be playing for improved playoff seeding, so they’ll be coming with a vengeance.

6
Sana'a
Sana'a
4-3
2
LAST WK: 8

They have been a very inconsistent team all season long, they are even more inconsistent within individual games. At times, they look like they cannot even buy a basket, then at times all you see is Raied spinning and finishing layups or Mo getting an easy basket down low. Sometimes they are offensively challenged, while at other times they are an offensive force. They played a forgettable first half, but picked up their play significantly to take a game from a very good team. They may have been a little fortunate in a situation where it appeared Anwar lost his contact lens, but a win is a win. They earned it, now let’s see if they can play like they did in the second half, for 40 minutes against Dhaka.

7
Istanbul
1
LAST WK: 6

Needed a solid second half to beat one of the lesser teams in the league. That’s never really a confidence booster, but nevertheless it is a win. They are pretty good on offense and pretty solid on defense, but they win games by outrebounding you and having terrific ball movement. They find ways to execute in the half court and Adam is typically the beneficiary. Mahmoud had a poor shooting game, but do not let that fool you, he is an above average point guard who will have a big game soon. He gets the ball to the right spots, and his teammates have been able to somewhat capitalize. They are not a good three-point shooting team, so if they hope to knock off the likes of Dhaka and Alexandria, they’ll need some three-balls to fall, or else they will not score enough to compete. Their offense will be tested next week when they take on Jakarta and their #1 ranked defense.

8
Mecca
Mecca
4-3
2
LAST WK: 10

Last two weeks they took Ls, but this week they bounced back. Anas Zubi, again, shows why he is highly regarded as the best offensive player in this league. He may be the only player that can score 20 then 11 and have those two games be called poor offensive performances. He led his squad to a much needed win and it came against their toughest challenge yet. A loss here may have crippled the confidence of this team, but Anas does what an MVP must do and just will his team to victory. Ammar Idelbi also had a very good game, more so than the 8 points and 10 rebound stat line would tell. His defensive effort held Salman to 4 points and 8 rebounds, while he also made life difficult when Dhaka would drive. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Billal Abbassi needs to be the guy who complements Anas. Teams will continue to focus in on Anas, Billal has to be the one to take advantage of the over-attention paid to his teammate.

9
Kazan
Kazan
5-2
2
LAST WK: 11

The league has been warned. This team is not a fallacy, they appear to be the real deal. This dude Mark Oliver is a legitimate playmaker in this league and he’ll continue to give defenses problems as we head into the playoffs. 23 points and 15 rebounds is a dominant game for a front court player, but for a perimeter player to have that kind of impact on the boards, it is extremely advantageous for his squad. He is a top-three scorer, top-twenty rebounder, and top-ten in assists. His name needs to circulate a little bit more in the MVP race and this teams needs the respect they have earned. If it wasn’t for two losses by a combined 3 points to start the year, they would be flirting with perfection. They too finish their season against three solid teams. Kazan takes on Amman, followed by Granada, then they end the season with the defending champs.

10
Granada
Granada
4-3
1
LAST WK: 9

They have played two terrific halves of basketball this season – the first half against Mecca and the second half against Amman. If they played anywhere close to that level for 40 minutes a week, they would be at the top of this list. Problem is, they don’t. They are far too inconsistent to make me believe that they can take on one of the top six teams. It seems though, that they may have found what they’ve been looking for. Shadi was extremely aggressive and other than getting blocked a few times, he had Omar Mana’s number the whole game – that is not an easy feat. They played terrific team defense in the second half and they showed us why they rank third in points allowed. They just need some more consistency – the defense is there, they have playmakers, now can they put it all together and sustain it. It seems like everyone has a tough schedule to close out the regular season and it is no different for Granada. They take on Lahore in what has t

11
Amman
Amman
3-4
4
LAST WK: 7

After a terrific first half, they just did not have any gas left in the tank to play with Granada’s pace. I heard Shadi yell “speed kills” as he streaked a couple times down the court for easy transition buckets. Amman shouldn’t be a team that gets run on. Between Moayad and Jawad, they have a very athletic team that should be able to prevent transition baskets, they should be the ones killing with speed. At this point, it just doesn’t seem like they want it. Moayad had 21 points, but I think all of those points came in the first 20 minutes. As a team, you just cannot be held to 8 points in a half when you have as many weapons as Amman does. Omar Mana was outworked and out hustled by a more mature and hungrier player – he is not a 2 point 9 rebound player, he is a 10pt/15rb guy who can be 20/20 when he decides to play with a chip on his shoulder. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem like they have the leadership necessary to turn this season

12
Fez
Fez
3-4
2
LAST WK: 14

Looks like Ed is finally heating up. The commish got his team their third win of the year while flirting with a triple double. They have an easier than average schedule, with 2 games they should win, giving them at least a 5-5 record. They’re not a team I would want to see in the playoffs because Jason Weiss can play with any big in this league and Ed looks like he is just getting started.

13
Baghdad
Baghdad
2-5
1
LAST WK: 12

They played a very good first half, but then struggled to defend Jakarta as they were outscored by 20 in the second half. They have been giving good teams issues all season long. Between Zak and Muhannad, they always have a premier offensive threat. Unfortunately, their entire team never shows up – that’s not a recipe for success.

14
Damascus
1
LAST WK: 13

Hosam had his third double-double of the year, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Damascus. They played okay on offense, but just could not keep Ed from shooting. They play Suba next week, maybe Damascus will snap their own six game losing streak.

15
Suba
Suba
1-6
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LAST WK: 15

It’s hard to win games when you give up over 50 points. When you give up over 70, you do not stand a chance. Season high of 22 for Anad, who may be the only bright spot in a dark Suba season. He’s been a very under the radar scorer –  he’s ninth most in the league with an average of 14.5ppg.

16
Tehran
Tehran
1-6
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LAST WK: 16

Hasn’t been an easy season for the newcomers. They do have a chance against Fez though – they’ll need to contain Ed and challenge Jason in the paint. If they can do that, they may grab their second win of the year.


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