Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Islamabad
1
LAST WK: 2

What a difference Omar Abbassi makes. They looked significantly more in sync, played seamless defense, and owned the glass. Palermo isn’t a good team, but doubling up any team is a testament of intensity and focus. Abdul hadn’t scored less than 25 all season, and Islamabad held him to 17 - it was an impressive five man effort that got it done. Offensively, it was pedal to the medal for 40 minutes. Big O should be the frontrunner for the MVP because he makes good players great and plays at an unbelievably high level in every aspect of the game.

2
Dhaka
Dhaka
5-1
1
LAST WK: 3

I’ll say it again, this team is clicking. They look like they did when they made both championship runs. This go around though, Ameer has turned into arguably the best power forward in the league. They aren’t necessarily blowing teams out of the water, but they look terrific on both ends of the floor. They’re forcing turnovers, turning them into points, challenging teams of both end of the floor by making them play fast. Only knock is that they sometimes get into an iso mode and try to carry the load one v one - they are also very streaky. When they’re hot, they cannot be beaten, when they get cold, there is a level of vulnerability. They have four games left, all of which I expect them to win.

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

Had the full squad, but didn’t maintain the intensity for the entire forty minutes to get the win. After a very, very slow and ugly first half, both teams starting making shots. The finish of this game was outstanding though, unfortunately for Sana’a, they were left with the L. Mo and Raied were contained, if it wasn’t for solid defense all around and Salman “New Corner Hot” Khan stroking it from the corners in critical moments, they would have lost by double digits. What made me uncomfortable though, is I watched Raied and Mo on several occasions not run back on defense after they were unsatisfied with a no call. At the end of the day, they lost by 1 - an ounce more of grit gets them the win. That’s the difference. Maybe Amman will give them a fight, but they’ll come out angry for four straight games, maintain that point margin, and lock up the top se

4
Mombasa
Mombasa
5-1
--
LAST WK: 4

Impressive win without Weiss. He might not load up the box score, but his impact offensively running the baseline and orchestrating the defense it significant. My X-factor, Yousef went full on Muj and added some rain to the very humid Alexandrian summer. As per usual, Raza did his thing and Sadat made impact plays. Another team that can and should finish at 9-1. It might take 2 months to see them in another competitive game if they continue to play at this level.

5
Tehran
Tehran
5-1
2
LAST WK: 7

Getting real crowded at the top here. Five teams all with very, very worthy arguments for being at the top. No disrespect coming in at 5, none at all. That was an impressive, impressive win.

6
Amman
Amman
4-2
1
LAST WK: 5

Need to see them play with Omar Mana for a couple consecutive games before coming up with the verdict. What I do know, though, is that Moayad is playing at an MVP caliber level. He’s averaging 20 points on fewer than 14 shots per game, besides being reckless and out of control once or twice a game, he’s been extremely efficient and has made tremendous strides from past seasons. As a team, Amman needs to up the defensive intensity and that will start with the return of Mana. He’s a difference maker defensively and on both ends when it comes to rebounding. They have a vulnerable Mecca team next week, I would like to see them dominate all facets of the game.

7
Jakarta
Jakarta
4-2
1
LAST WK: 8

After sleepwalking through the first half, Jawad turned up the offensive intensity and carried that Mujtaba-less Jakarta team to victory. Ramzy hit a big time 3 to pull away, while the whole team played almost perfect defense for the entire forty minutes and just dominated the glass. Omar Elsamna has to be the most underrated rebounder in this league - dude leaps and grabs everything, he just needs to start finding ways to get the putback to go through the net. With Muj, this game would have been 70-30.

8
Alexandria
2
LAST WK: 6

Bernie looks like he’s back to his early season form, but Alexandria could do enough to stop the combination of Raza and Yousef. I though that this should be a winnable game for them as Mombasa was playing without Weiss. Alexandria is a solid team, but in their two losses, they could not stop their opponents without fouling. Against Granada and Mombasa, their opponents shot 18 and 16 free throws, respectively. They seem to struggle guarding players who can both shoot from anywhere on the court and get to the rim without fouling - see Yousef, Anwar, and Omar Qasem’s FT attempts. Even in games they have won, they give up big performances to great players and win by outscoring them - I am not too sure how sustainable that is.

9
Granada
Granada
4-2
--
LAST WK: 9

Tremendous energy to start the game, coming off of what now appears to be a loss to a bad Delhi team. Omar Singer lead the charge early, forcing turnovers and hitting a couple 3s. Omar Qasem was draped over Ed for the first twenty minutes. As a team, they were tenacious on the offensive glass - Waqas was the beneficiary of this effort. After a terrific first half, Fez brought it a little harder and Ed was in full let-it-fly mode, preventing his team from getting blown out of the gym. Need to see Granada push down on the throats of week teams a little bit harder - they let Fez gasp for air in the second half.

10
Beirut
Beirut
4-2
--
LAST WK: 10

No Jon, no prob. Nick lead the offensive charge, while the whole team played terrific defense, holding an explosive offense to just 41, and holding an explosive player in Malik Zubi to just 9. They should be able to cruise into their week 9 matchup with Alexandria.

11
Damascus
3
LAST WK: 14

Nothing too special about this win, but as always with this bunch, they bring the effort and grit to win games they should. Terrible shooting performance, but Hosam and Ahmad dominated the glass to keep the ball in Damascus’ hands. Everyone got involved scoring the ball and just did enough to outscore Suba. They have a gauntlet coming up - any wins over the next three games would be a tremendous feat. 

12
Cairo
Cairo
3-3
--
LAST WK: 12

Too good to wake up for an 8AM game.

13
Sarajevo
3
LAST WK: 16

They actually look pretty good, pretty pretty good. Three guys with double-doubles plus Leonard doing his thing for a second straight week - don’t be surprised if they finish 5-5.

14
Mecca
Mecca
3-3
3
LAST WK: 11

They’ll be tested every week and they can no longer just rely on Malik’s prayer 3s. Jaber and his bigs, Ammar and Obada, need to start running some more fundamental sets to free themselves up. This has to be a full team effort if they want to end the season with more than 3 wins. I believe Jaber will be able to create chemistry with both Ammar and Obada to give Mecca a chance in all these games. Also, they need to get the perimeter defense tightened up - you cannot give up 7 threes to a single player, one who has a reputation of hitting threes. Throwback to Nick Marquez’s game winner against Mecca a few seasons back.

15
Delhi
Delhi
1-5
2
LAST WK: 13

I’m sure they’ll be waking up to cold-sweats of Leonard Lee all week long. It’s impressive when 3 guys combine for 63 points, but you have to also defend. 60+ should be a win against any team in this league. Also, never thought I would see the day where Muhanad Deeb lead team just gets dominated on the glass.

16
Fez
Fez
2-4
1
LAST WK: 15

If they started off the game with ANY energy at all and attempted to stop the 5 on 2 fast breaks Granada was getting early on, they might have had some chance of forcing a competitive game - but they didn’t. The effort to start was a joke and somewhat disrespectful to the competitive spirit Muslim Basketball looks to create.

17
Kabul
Kabul
2-4
1
LAST WK: 18

Very respectable fight, but they just don’t have the weapons to break Jakarta’s caliber of defense. 

17
Suba
Suba
2-4
--
LAST WK: 17

Old Suba, same problems, same results.

18
Cordoba
Cordoba
1-5
3
LAST WK: 21

Got that elusive first win. If Kenneth plays with a chip on his shoulder, they may find a “2” in the win column.

20
Istanbul
--
LAST WK: 20

Best performance of the season.

21
Riyadh
Riyadh
1-5
2
LAST WK: 19

I don’t even know.

22
Palermo
Palermo
0-6
--
LAST WK: 22

oh wow.


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