Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Alexandria
2
LAST WK: 3

Some shakeup in this week’s Power Rankings – buckle your seatbelts. We have a new face atop this league. Alexandria’s offense is clicking, they do just enough to defend, and somehow overcome the rebounding battle they seem to lose each week. Make no mistake though, this team can beat anyone in this league. In a showdown that had significantly less offense than I anticipated, Alexandria was able to beat Mombasa in a game that required half court execution. That type of play does not fit the mold of either of those teams, but it should have played into Mombasa’s favor – it did not, and that is because every guy that stepped on the court for Alexandria was relentless in their effort and desire to win. They wanted this, they did not get discouraged when the 3-ball wasn’t falling, instead, they made up for it with defense. Their Achilles heel will be rebounding – but at this point in the season, they have been able to overcome it. Jeff had a soli

2
Sana'a
Sana'a
5-3
4
LAST WK: 6

Had their most potent offensive game of the season against a powerhouse – they’ve earned the respect of this league. Another double-double for Mo Amin, another solid outing for Raied, and Abdul-Rahman continues to be the third guy who does just enough to make it easier for Mo and Raied. They forced Dhaka to turn the ball over 23 times, a whopping number for any team, let alone the defending champs. Sana’a faces another tough challenge, as they take on a Mombasa team looking to bounce back after an emotional loss.

3
Dhaka
Dhaka
5-3
2
LAST WK: 1

Did not expect Dhaka to lose three games this season. They’ve been struggling mightily, as of late. The lack of size, other than for Salman, seems to be an issue. They had a hard time keeping Mo Amin off the glass and could not stop Raied’s driving. There should be some concern, but they are still a top 2 team. If should be mentioned though, that they were without Ali, a major contributor and a guy who helps distribute and strecht the floor. They’ll have a physical game against Jakarta next week. If they can keep Jakarta off the boards and expose a terrific defense, they’ll be able to knock off a great team and get back on track.

4
Lahore
Lahore
5-3
1
LAST WK: 5

The combination of solid defense and aggressive offense, albeit inefficient offense, allowed them to win a game much closer than the 6 point favor would indicate. Anwar, Bilal, and Waqas combined for 39 of their 42 points. Yes, that’s a solid figure for your three top scorers to have, but they have no scoring elsewhere. If a team figures out a way to slow them down, they’ll struggle. That is much easier said than done – I expect the Big Three to take advantage of a favorable matchup and try to catch fire before a regular season finale showdown with Mecca.

5
Kazan
Kazan
6-2
4
LAST WK: 9

Between Mark and Frank^2, they have a legitimate big three that has proven they can reek havoc against any level of competition. Their only flaw may be a lack of a true big man, but they’ve taken down the like of Mombasa and Weiss, Istanbul and Muhammed Turan, Fez and Jason Weiss, and now maybe the best big man in this league, Omar Mana. They surrendered a monster 10pt 20rb game to Mana, but they made him earn if. If they can continue to have 3 guys with 15+ points and defensively make big men work hard, they will have a chance to win it all. Just like Jakarta, they end the season with Granada and then a finale with the defending champs. If they end the season 8-2, they will be the favorites going into the playoffs.

6
Istanbul
1
LAST WK: 7

They dominated Jakarta in a game that played into the hands of Jakarta. Slow paced and relatively low scoring are the types of games Jakarta likes, but Istanbul handled them with ease. Absolute dominance on the glass, the team scored a season low of 37 and had no one in double figures. That is not the recipe for success, but when you force your opponent to shoot less that 20%, keep all players to 6 points or below, and outrebound the other side by 15, you do not need much offense. To Istanbul’s credit, they’ve shown that they can play both ways – outscore or out defend.

7
Mombasa
Mombasa
5-3
3
LAST WK: 4

They are a successful squad when they can run up and down the court and get easy baskets. Alexandria stripped them of that advantage – they were able to run back and stop most transition play, keeping Raza from piling up layups with his flash-like speed. A couple plays here or there would’ve changed the outcome of this game, but in the end, the better team won. Mombasa was right there with them, but has the cloud of greatness that shrouded Weiss and Co. finally evaporated?

8
Jakarta
Jakarta
4-4
6
LAST WK: 2

Just to reiterate a few points, it’s very difficult to win when you give up 15 more rebounds than you reel in and shoot under 20%. With that sort of dismal offense, giving up a league leading ~37 points per game is still too much. In this case, it was 9 points too many. It won’t get easier, they have Dhaka followed by a finale against Granada.

9
Mecca
Mecca
5-3
1
LAST WK: 8

After being held to 20 and 11 points in two losses against Granada and Mombasa, Anas Zubi has exploded for 29 and 23 in Mecca’s last two games. That two game stretch were they looked like they were finished is now a distant memory. This team will go as far as Anas’ shoulders will take them. If Ammar Idelbi can regain that flow he had to start the season, Mecca will be a team no one wants to play.

10
Granada
Granada
4-4
--
LAST WK: 10

They’ve found the recipe, but foul trouble really plagued them. Shadi Dahduli has become the big man the league expected him to be. He has taken control of the Granda offense, getting them easy transition baskets with his speed and strength. Now, it is up to the rest of the squad, specifically Omar Singer and Omar Qasem, to complement Shadi and find a way to get Granada over the hump.

11
Amman
Amman
3-5
--
LAST WK: 11

Really disappointing season (so far) from this bunch. Expecting much bigger things from Jawad. Lone bright spot has been Omar Mana, who has just been flat-out dominant. They have two challenging games to end out the regular season. If they can somehow figure things out going into the playoffs, Jawad and Moayad are two potent offensive players who can light it up in an instance. Add that to Omar Mana’s presence down low, and any top seed would have a handful to deal with.

12
Damascus
2
LAST WK: 14

They were able to get their second win against Suba, not something to brag about, but a win nonetheless. Muhannad Darwish had an impressive 12pt 11rb game against a decent big in Ryan Ayton. Things won’t be as easy this week, they face a very strong Lahore squad.

13
Tehran
Tehran
2-6
3
LAST WK: 16

Dominated Fez for their second win. Nice games from Moneeb Hassan and Ameen Ahad. They have two tough games to end the regular season. They struggle to score, but they can defend. Maybe they will be able to at least challenge Mecca, maybe.

14
Baghdad
Baghdad
2-6
1
LAST WK: 13

They would be a solid team if Muhannad and Zak had the chance to play most of their games together. Unfortunately, that has not been the case and that is why they score a league worst 36.7ppg. They have two winnable games left, if Muhannad and Zak both play they should win both and challenge a middle of the pack team in the first round.

15
Fez
Fez
3-5
3
LAST WK: 12

I would say Ed had a terrific game, but when you take 17 shots from behind the ark and only end up with 20 points, that’s pretty underwhelming.

16
Suba
Suba
1-7
1
LAST WK: 15

I thought they were going to get the win against the youngsters and Damascus, but they were outplayed. They’re pretty good shooters percentage wise and they find ways to move the ball around, but defense and rebounding really plagues them. Maybe they will end the regular season on a high note and beat two beatable opponents.


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