Basketball head pleased with FIBA ranking

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President of the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Daryll Matthew has welcomed the country’s favourable climb on the latest Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) Rankings released October 11.
Antigua and Barbuda is ranked 76 from amongst 149 ranked countries and 213 overall in the world and 17th from 43 teams in the FIBA Americas zone.
According to Matthew, it is a proud moment for all of Antigua.
“To consider 76 out of 213 countries worldwide and only the 150 were even ranked at all so to come 76 out of 213 is a very heartwarming time for us as an association, as an executive and I think it’s something everyone in Antigua and Barbuda ought to be proud of,” he said. 
The ranking, Matthew believes, is a direct result of the association’s investment in the development of its players.
“One of the things that we and a lot of other people in Antigua and Barbuda have always known is that we don’t lack talent, we don’t lack ability and sometimes maybe what we lack is the opportunity, and I think that over the past couple of years, as an executive and as a country, we have made the financial sacrifice to find monies to send out national teams to participate and we have always done very well. The chickens are now coming home to roost and we are seeing the results of that,” he said. 
The basketball boss explains however, that the accolade brings both pros and cons as it pertains to the benefits to be derived.
“By moving up in the FIBA rankings, it has now put us in a different category of teams so FIBA has five rankings which are A, B, C, D and E. Initially we were in the group D countries worldwide and as a group D country you pay a particular amount in FIBA dues and so on but moving up to group C your dues increase,” he said.
“You also get more opportunities for more technical support from FIBA. Your country is now more recognised from the standpoint that international teams and clubs are looking at your country now as one of basketball pedigree where they may be able to source players,” Matthew added.
Antigua and Barbuda is wedged between Costa Rica and the Central African Republic who are 75 and 77 respectively.
The USA heads the rankings at number 1 with Spain, Serbia, France and Argentina rounding off the top 5. Caribbean counterparts Cuba and Jamaica are ranked 60 and 68 respectively.

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