CHANGSHA (China) – Some of the best women 3x3 players in the world will be dazzling fans at the upcoming FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2019 in Changsha, China on May 22-26.
In the fourth edition of the event, the qualifying draw will be held on May 22-23 before the main draw on May 24-26.
Let’s have a look at the key players to watch out for.
Rebecca Cole (AUS)
The No.1 Australian women’s player has been red hot on the 3x3 court lately. Cole recently led Spectres iAthletic to glory at the NBL 3x3 Pro Hustle (the professional Australian 3x3 league) and then inspired Australia to a World Cup berth after an unbeaten run at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Puerto Rico.
Cole will be aiming to prove she’s the best player in the Asian region during the competition.
At just 22, the imposing 6ft 4in (1.93m) Dilishati already has a wealth of experience playing 3x3. As a teenager she was out there repping China with her post game and soft hands, in just the 2nd edition of the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup back in 2012. With her, you know you can she handle responsibilities: she was bearing the Chinese flag in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
Saiedeh Elli (IRI)
The 33-year-old has been part of Iran’s swift 3x3 rise. This will be her second Asia Cup in the last 12 months and she was also part of her team’s World Cup campaign last year. She might be diminutive and look harmless, but Elli has a killer game highlighted by savvy veteran moves.
Elli has sweet handles and drives to the rim like she’s steering a Ferrari.
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Fook Yee Yap (MAS)
Don’t leave the 25-year-old open. She will make you pay almost every time. Fook Yee is money from behind the arc as one of the deadliest snipers in 3x3. That certainly showed at the shoot-out contest: the Malaysian star won gold at the shoot-out contest in the last 2 editions of the Asia Cup! Did you know the contest was mixed? She not only beat all the other sharpshooters in the women's category, she also taught men how to shoot.
Janine Pontejos (PHI)
You want sharpshooters? Here's another one: an ice cool Pontejos won the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 shootout in front of her home fans to stamp herself as arguably the best in the business. She’s meaner than Cersei Lannister from behind the arc.
Ayna Gokova (TKM)
Just try stopping the powerful Gokova (6ft 3in, 1.90m) in the paint. She’s a scoring machine and abuses rivals like an Eminem lyric. Gokova knows what it takes to win at the Asia Cup having been part of Turkmenistan’s brilliant bronze medal campaign in 2013. And don't try to hack-a-Shaq her, she went 12 for 12 from the line at the World Cup last year.
Wu Ying Chieh (TPE)
Chinese Taipei has an inexperienced lineup and will rely on Wu Ying’s big game chops with the 26-year-old part of her country’s FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2017 campaign. When the game is up for grabs, Wu Ying will be demanding the ball.
Kiho Miyashita (JPN)
The 20-year-old is one of the most exciting talents in Asia. She’s already a big name back home after starring in Japan’s fourth-place finish at the 2017 FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Miyashita can slither past defenders with her lanky frame like a mamba and knows the angles as if she’s a geometry teacher.
Kalani Purcell (NZL)
The No.1 player in New Zealand is a flat out winner. She was part of her team’s epic gold medal win at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2018.
The strongly built 6ft1in (1.86m) and 90kg can play bully ball inside but her versatility makes her unstoppable. She has a floater that makes James Harden blush and hits the open J easier than tying shoelaces.