Power Rankings

RANK TEAM / RECORD CHANGE COMMENTS
1
Sarajevo
--
LAST WK: 1

They just got the W against a really competitive Islamabad squad. What makes this win really impressive though, is they showed they can do it without their captain, Aymen. Justin and Elias did a great job holding down the fort, shooting a combined 18-30 for 49 points. They have a game that they will win by 20+ next week, and then another tough game against an underperforming Kazan squad.

2
Mombasa
Mombasa
6-2
1
LAST WK: 3

In a game with no Pete Brown, Raza absolutely dominated. He scored 27 points on an efficient 11-18 shooting, also adding 4 boards, 1 assist, and 4 steals. I am not sure if there is a team that can stop Mombasa if they have their full roster.  Similar to Sarajevo, they essentially have a bye week this Saturday.

3
Dhaka
Dhaka
6-2
2
LAST WK: 5

I knew Dhaka wouldn’t lose 2 in a row. This was a very close game, but the experienced squad came out on top. It was the typical “Big 4” that carried the load for Dhaka (Ameer, Fahad, Farzad, Mike) all scoring double digits. Fahad was lights out from 3 and is now shooting 45% from 3 on the season, a career high.

4
Bukhara
Bukhara
5-3
2
LAST WK: 6

This wasn’t necessarily their best game, but a win is a win. Mustafa shot an abysmal 3-16, while Ahmed wasn’t much better shooting 7-22. As a team, Bukhara shot 29.7% from the floor. They still won by 14 points, so that shows how bad Medina was. This is now two games in a row Bukhara had 7 players show up. If they keep this going, look for them to have a deep run in the playoffs.

5
Timbuktu
1
LAST WK: 4

The Yanes family came up just short on their biggest test of the season. The ROY candidate BAKH dropped 23, but he couldn’t get enough support from the rest of the team to come out with the win. Sitting at 6-2 and almost a lock to end at 8-2, they are still going to have a very high seed when they go into the playoffs.

6
Amman
Amman
6-2
1
LAST WK: 7

Again, Farhad showed why he is one of the best MB has ever seen. A near perfect 9-10 from the free throw line and a 32-12-2 stat line, the dude is just a beast. Leonard added in what he does, and this 1-2 punch is arguably the best in the league. Granted, they almost lost to a Damascus squad desperate for a win, but they didn’t. They are a lock to end the season 8-2.

7
Kabul
Kabul
6-2
5
LAST WK: 2

Once I saw the double digit loss to Fez, I already knew either Mo or Ameed wasn’t there. Not only did they play with 5, but their best player on the court Ameed fouled out and they were down to 4. I didn’t watch the game so I don’t know if this happened towards the end of the game, but playing with 5 is always a disadvantage. Ameed still managed to drop 31 points, but that wasn’t enough to stop Amir and team. Although Kabul is dropping to 7th, please believe that if both Mo and Ameed are present, this is still a top 3 team in the league.

8
Jakarta
Jakarta
6-2
2
LAST WK: 10

Jakarta continues to move its way up the power rankings, slowly but surely. The face of MB Edriss Froogh with a great shooting performance, hitting 6 of 11 3 pointers and ending with a 24-6-4-2 stat line. Steve took care of business down low as he usually does, and had his usual double double with 12 and 14. This is another squad who will end 8-2, and as long as they have a full roster, teams should try their best to stay out of their way in the playoffs.

9
Beirut
Beirut
6-2
2
LAST WK: 11

Mingo and fam came up with the W in the game of the week against a Pat-less Kazan squad. As people always say, a win is a win. It wasn’t particularly the prettiest win, but it counts in the standings. Mingo had a great game, but one person who has kind of gone under the radar is William. He only scored 11 and grabbed 7 boards, but he is the one new name which has taken this team from above average to great. They should have another win this Saturday against Cairo, unless AMP decides to drop 50 again.

10
Islamabad
1
LAST WK: 9

So close, yet so far. Islamabad was only able to take 5 FT attempts, and at the end that determined the outcome of the game. The unselfishness of this team can sometimes hurt them. Bilal shot 9-10, he essentially couldn’t miss. They have to find ways to get the hot hand more shots, whether it is off ball screens or flat out ISO ball. At the same time, it is hard to sway away from what has been working for them. I am a firm believer they will figure it out, and I look forward to seeing them face Kabul at the end of the season.

11
Lahore
Lahore
5-3
2
LAST WK: 13

Shafic with the game winner! What a game from him, beating his previous career high of 30 (which he had his last game) and scoring 34 points. Jason continues to shoot at an insanely efficient level, this time shooting 7-8. With Omar always doing what he does, this team is picking up steam at the right time. Granada is a very good team, so it has to feel good to not only score 85 points, but also beat an actual competitor and not one of the lower ranked teams.

12
Granada
Granada
5-3
4
LAST WK: 8

Just like many other teams, they need their big players in big games. Jon DeJesus is definitely one of those players, but so is Anas Najib. This team will only go as far as they both take them, but they have to both be there. Jordan and Omar also both play a significant role. With all 4 of them present, they can go toe to toe with anyone. I know I say that about a lot of teams, but I am hoping in the playoffs everybody from every team is present. This should be really exciting to see.

13
Kazan
Kazan
4-4
1
LAST WK: 12

No surprise here, Kazan took an L without their main guy, Pat, who I am told is dealing with an injury.  We hope he gets well soon. This was Kazan’s chance to show MB what we have been talking about nonstop, who is their next go to guy. Unfortunately, after that performance, we are still left guessing. Losing to a very good Beirut squad by 7 without Pat isn’t too bad, but “isn’t too bad” still results in an L in the standings. With the season almost over, Kazan is sitting at .500. I cannot remember the last time Kazan was at .500 this deep into the season. Look for them to take out their frustration on Damascus next week. I predict a Kazan victory by 25+.

14
Tehran
Tehran
5-3
2
LAST WK: 16

Anas Zubi! He is back at it again, dropping a 40 spot on 16-22 shooting. Was he not being double-teamed, or even triple-teamed? Was his brother attempting to guard him? Looking at the box score, that probably was the case. Even though they played the absolute worst team in the league, 40 points is always impressive. Hats off to you, sir. 

15
Tripoli
Tripoli
4-4
--
LAST WK: 15

When Muj isn’t there, this team is always at risk of losing. Jean, Yousef, and Visar gave just enough to still end up with the win. Jean scored 19 and grabbed a game high 16 boards, while Yousef and Visar scored 17 and 14 respectively. They have Anas Zubi and team next week, which should be a good matchup.

16
Fez
Fez
4-4
2
LAST WK: 18

We have talked about in the past how teams “did not take advantage of a Mo-less Kabul squad.” This is an example of how you successfully take advantage of a Mo-less Kabul squad. Amir couldn’t get going from behind the arc, but was an excellent 9-10 from the charity stripe. L-Rod and Raj also helped take down the top-ranked Kabul team. Although I would like to move them up even more after a win like this, they still have a couple bad losses under their belt, and they’re going to have to win out to crack the top half of the rankings.

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

This was the toughest choice, because a 22 point victory to a competitive Sana’a squad definitely should move you up a couple of spots in the rankings, but who am I going to move down? Fez just beat a more competitive team in Kabul, and the rest of the teams I just don’t see them being beaten by Suba. With that being said, I hope Suba proves me wrong in the playoffs and goes back to the dominant team we all know. A win against Lahore next week will certainly move them up a couple of notches.

18
Sana'a
Sana'a
4-4
4
LAST WK: 14

Disappointing loss to a team that has been on the rise. They were coming off a huge win against Dhaka, so playing Suba should have been a give me game. Unfortunately they weren’t able to come out with the win, and find themselves back on the lower half of the rankings. Clayton has to shoot better than 3-12 to give his team a shot at winning big games.

19
Cairo
Cairo
4-4
2
LAST WK: 21

The Popals are back at it. They combined to score 52 points, and demolished Riyadh by 22 points. Although they have found themselves on the bottom half of the spectrum this season in the standings, this is a team that can easily get hot and upset a top tier team. Regardless of their record, AMP is still one of the best players MB has ever seen, and one can argue that he absolutely deserves to be on the much talked about “MB Mt. Rushmore.”

20
Medina
Medina
3-5
1
LAST WK: 19

As we all know, Medina has Mohamed who is 6’47528” tall. I am not sure who was guarding this man, or who was boxing him out, but the fact that he ended with only 5 rebounds is very disappointing. Jawad is a great scorer, but the team has to get Mohamed more looks. He cannot end the game with only 6 shot attempts. Ahmed, Mohammad, and Ibrahim shot a combined 2-22 from the floor. That isn’t going to get it done. Imagine if Bukhara was actually hitting their shots, this could’ve been a 30 point loss instead of a 14 point loss very easily.

21
Kashgar
Kashgar
2-6
1
LAST WK: 22

When winning is scarce, it makes it feel even better when it happens. Kashgar needed this win to boost their confidence. Josh is a very good basketball player. They shouldn’t be losing as many games as they do. They have another winnable game next week against Fez.

22
Lagos
Lagos
2-6
2
LAST WK: 20

It is nice to see someone else in double digits other than Kyseem and Hosam. Believe it or not, this is the first time Lagos had 3 players score double digits all season. They still lost, but you have to think of something positive in these situations. 

23
Damascus
2
LAST WK: 25

A valiant effort against a top tier team in Amman. They still lost, but they only lost by 4 to one of the best teams in the league. This shows the type of potential Damascus has. Maybe they can take advantage of a struggling Kazan team this week who may or may not have their best player on the court.

24
Baghdad
Baghdad
2-6
--
LAST WK: 24

Baghdad couldn’t take advantage of a Muj-less Tripoli. I have to stop using that line. It is good to see Moe shooting the way we are used to seeing him shoot, scoring 21 and shooting 5-9 from 3. Unfortunately, he and Timmy didn’t do enough to get the win.

25
Mecca
Mecca
2-6
2
LAST WK: 23

This was one of the games they had a shot at winning, and they fell short. Fortunately, they still get to play Lagos at the end of the season. Should be a toss-up.

26
Palermo
Palermo
1-7
--
LAST WK: 26

They are lucky to pick up that win against Cairo earlier in the season, because they won’t pick up another win the rest of the season.

27
Riyadh
Riyadh
0-8
--
LAST WK: 27

Keep pushing young fellas. Would love to see them upset Mombasa or Tripoli in the next couple of weeks.

28
Delhi
Delhi
0-8
--
LAST WK: 28

Ahmad was the only bright spot last game, scoring 29 points on 10-19 shooting, and knocking down 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Malik was trying to keep up with his younger bro, but to no avail. Is Delhi the 2017 Cleveland Browns, or the 2008 Detroit Lions? You decide.


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