#FIBAAsia2015 Power Rankings after Round One

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship closed first round of hostilities yesterday with three teams emerging unbeaten. Iran, Palestine, and China march on to the next round with unblemished slates, and are among the favorites to make it to the quarterfinals.

Let’s see where each of the twelve remaining teams stand going into the next group phase.

Remember that these rankings are entirely the opinion of one man and have no mathematical or theoretical grounding, keep in mind that player injuries, eligibility issues, training camp reports, and pre-tournament game results will all have considerable impact.

So… let’s go.

1 - Iran (Group E; 2-0 carryover record)
- Coach Dirk Bauermann’s wards have dominated nearly every possession they had in the first round. They blew out their opponents by an average of 47 points! And Hamed Haddadi hasn’t really even flexed his muscles that much to boot!

2 - China (Group F; 2-0 carryover record)
- Their slate is clean, but China very nearly blew it against a very tough Korean team. The Chinese’s endgame rally was a testament to their resolve, though, and they will need every bit of that to top Group F.

3 - South Korea (Group F; 1-1 carryover record)
- The Koreans could have swept Group C had it not been for some miscues late in the fourth period. Yang Dong-Geun has been awesome for them so far, and they will need him to continue playing his best if they are to finish in the top two of Group F.

4 - Qatar (Group F; 2-0 carryover record)
- The Qataris were impressive in their first two games, playing through 8 quarters and 3 overtime periods. Without a doubt, Trey Johnson has been the man of the moment for them, but he will need his supporting cast to step up if they are to make it past round two.

5 - Philippines (Group E; 1-1 carryover record)
- The ghosts of that opening day upset will continue to haunt the Filipinos unless they can manage to somehow finish ahead of Palestine in round two. That will be easier said than done, though, but the fact that the Pinoys are second most efficient team right now is proof of their true quality. Andray Blatche, however, looks like a shell of the guy who dominated in #Spain2014.

6 - Lebanon (Group F; 1-1 carryover record)
- The Lebanese got sidetracked by Qatar on day two, and they will probably rest Ahmad Ibrahim for the next few days (if not for the entire tourney). Still, they have plenty of guys who can deliver, led by Jay Youngblood, who has been their undisputed leader so far.

7 - Jordan (Group F; 0-2 carryover record)
- Coach Rajko Toroman’s boys gave China a good fight on day three before fading in the final frame, but it sure looks like they have another gear in them. They started slow in the 2011 edition as well, and we all know how that turned out, right?

8 - Kazakhstan (Group F; 0-2 carryover record)
- The Kazakhs had a golden opportunity to trip Qatar on day one, but they faltered in the end. They also got blasted by Lebanon yesterday, and it seems Jerry Johnson is feeling the pangs of a muscle strain. Not good.

9 - Japan (Group E; 1-1 carryover record)
- The Japanese impressed on days two and three, especially in their big win over India, but their blowout loss to Iran on day one seems like a more accurate measure of their worth. Joji Takeuchi will need to put up big numbers every game now just for Team Hayabusa to stand a chance, and against guys like Andray Blatche and Sani Sakakini, that will be a tall order.

10 - Palestine (Group E; 2-0 carryover record)
- The Palestinians have been the darlings of the tournament so far, but that may be over soon as coach Jerry Steele continues to overplay his big three of Sani Sakakini, Jamal Abu-Shamala, and Imad Qahwash. Coach Steele tends to play all three the entire 40 minutes in every big game, and, well, it’ll all be big games from here on. I’m not sure that strategy is sustainable.

11 - India (Group E; 0-2 carryover record)
- India has had some flashes of real brilliance (their fast start against Japan was very promising), but they have also shown stretches of sloppiness, which may kill their chances in round two. Amjyot Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi have been stellar, but they will surely need more production from slotman Amrit Pal Singh, who has been a little inconsistent.

12 - Hong Kong (Group E; 0-2 carryover record)
- Without a shadow of a doubt, Hong Kong will be tremendous underdogs in round two. Even if guys like Lee Ki, Chan Siu Wing, and Duncan Reid do well, I don’t expect them to win enough games (or any game) to advance.





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