Every second week leading up to EuroBasket 2013, fibaeurope.com's undercover expert ranks the 24 teams headed for Slovenia. Join the discussion on facebook now. This week finally brings some relief for Russian fans.
Disclaimer: These rankings in no way reflect any official ranking system. They are purely subjective and are intended to be viewed as such.
Ricky Rubio's 2012 injury woes are now just nothing more than a distant memory for the Spanish playmaker who is shaping up to have his biggest campaign with the Spanish senior team yet.
Only one French team remains alive in Europe but across the pond a plethora of Frenchmen continue to perform strongly, none more so than Joakim Noah who is averaging career-best figures in leading the Chicago Bulls to the play-offs.
Goran Dragic has come up twice against his former master Steve Nash of late, and come out on top on both occasions, confirming his apprenticeship is over and the Slovenian playmaker is now a bonified leader.
Olympiacos continue their struggle to make it out of the Top 16 and defend their Euroleague title, but whilst the teams surrounding them in the rankings fight their own battles, Greece remain in fourth for the time being.
For the first time in a number of weeks, the announcements coming out of Russia are positive with Anton Ponkrashov seeing no reason not to play for his national team this summer. Added to this, Russian teams remain in the fight in four continental tournaments.
At the beginning of the season, suggestions that Lietuvos Rytas would not make the VTB League play-offs were laughable, but are now reality. As a consequence, a number of potential national team candidates will be short on international exposure come summer.
Despite Bojan Dubljevic continuing to post big figures for Valencia, their exit from the Eurocup looks imminent whilst Nikola Pekovic is far off posting similar stats to those he was producing pre-injury in Minnesota.
Danilo Gallinari is back to his best following a thigh inury, posting stats comparable to those pre-injury, therefore giving Italian fans every reason to remain optimistic of a top-eight finish in Slovenia.
Three Serbian teams highlight the Final Four of the ABA League for the first time since 2009, exemplifying the healthy current state of Serbian basketball, despite the absence of teams in wider Europe.
Positive news in the EuroChallenge with Pinar Karsiyaka qualifying for the Final Four. However, with it unlikely that any of their players will represent Turkey in the summer, this fails to affect Turkey's current ranking.
Croatian basketball clubs have had a forgettable season at European level, highlighted by the fact that the best finishing Croatian team in the ABA League was Cedevita in sixth position. Does not bode well for the national team.
Maccabi are currently one of the hottest teams in Europe, winning five games on the trot in the Euroleague to put them in a strong position for one of the three remaining quarter-final spots up for grabs from Group F.
Tim Ohlbrecht has failed to make an impact since earning a place on the Houston Rockets' bench, featuring for just six minutes to date, whilst also reportedly sporting an ankle sprain. Elias Harris and Gonzaga also failed to make the NCAA Sweet 16.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Bosnian club Igokea have completed the ABA League with a 20-6 record, placing them two games clear of their closest rivals. This is a massive boost for basketball in the former Yugoslav state.
Right now Petteri Koponen is one of the most dangerous European backcourt players on the continent, highlighted by his MVP-winning 23-point, seven-assist performance against Fenerbahce in the Euroleague last week. A great reminder of how dangerous the Finns can be.
Georgian NBA star Zaza Pachulia has been sidelined indefinitely with an Achilles injury, reportedly admitting the problem is currently worsening. Points at a potentially major blow for Georgian plans in Slovenia.
News out of Cajasol Sevilla in Spain is a positive for British fans with Pops Mensah-Bonsu increasing in offensive productivity in each of his three outings in the Spanish ACB League.
F.Y.R. OF MACEDONIA
Bo McCalebb continues to post impressive stats for Fenerbahce in Turkey, but the playmaker's leadership qualities may be called into question with his own personal performances failing to inspire his teammates.
Budivelnik Kiev are on the verge of saying good-bye to Europe, following on from a 10-point loss on the home-leg of their Eurocup semi-final clash with Bilbao Basket. Their depature spells an end to the involvement of Ukranian teams in European competitions.
Ventspils - as expected - are on the way to the BBL final, whilst VEF Riga are safely through to the VTB League play-offs. As a bonus Janis Blums was leading scorer in the VTB for the now eliminated Lietuvos Rytas.
Detroit may not be going to the NBA play-offs but there has still been plenty to play for for Jonas Jerebko who in March has enjoyed his biggest minutes of the season, providing him with some much needed playing time ahead of summer.
Przemyslaw Karnowski's role for the now-eliminated NCAA team Gonzaga, was at best a cameo role of the bench, leaving Marcin Gortat's heir-in-waiting short on game time going into summer.
Axel Hervelle - arguably Belgium's biggest household name - has given Belgian fans reason for optimism with Bilbao Basket now only 40 minutes away from a berth in the Eurocup final.
CEZ Nymburk, who act as something of a feeder club for the Czech national team, have ended their European adventure by failing to make the VTB play-offs, whilst Jan Vesely has only seen 21 minutes in his previous six games for the Washington Wizards.