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Which of these FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup stars might we see at the Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers?
Beirut (Lebanon) - 3x3 is certainly an exciting alternative way to play basketball, known for its intense speed and upbeat style of action. What might work in the traditional full-court format isn’t guaranteed for success on the 3x3 stage. Here are some ballers who have made it work on both turfs, strutting their stuff at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup and potential call ups for their respective teams at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers!
Lucas Walker (AUS)
The 34-year-old veteran has already had a long and illustrious career, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping him from doing as much for the Australian national team as he can.
Before the 378th world-ranked player won the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup for Australia, Walker had logged three games for the Boomers during the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. What’s to stop him from getting another call up during the Asia Cup Qualifiers for the Green and Gold once again?
Abdulrahman Saad (QAT)
Saad was among one of the biggest names at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup. The 22-year-old rising star is fun to watch in the 3x3 setting with his mean crossovers, but he might be even better in the basketball game.
Saad is arguably Qatar’s best player and averaged 20.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017. Qatar will need him at his best as they try to make it through the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Ricci Rivero (PHI)
Fans of 3x3 didn’t get to see much of the game’s biggest stars at the 3x3 Asia Cup, since Rivero was left limping in the very first game of the tournament. Rivero is currently globally ranked at only 9434th, but we’ve seen what he’s capable of with the ball in his hands.
The 21-year-old also has mad skills on the hardwood and has been called up to be a part of the national team pool on several occasions already. Sooner or later, he’ll get his chance with the Philippines national team and maybe that chance will come at the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Kai Sotto and Ricci Rivero, both part of Gilas Pilipinas’ 20-man pool for the 5th window of the FIBA WCAQ, are looking forward to learning from their kuyas. @Sports5PH @News5AKSYON— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) November 12, 2018
Via @frauey pic.twitter.com/ZLENm5BjTX
Bandit Lakhan (THA)
The Philippines were upset in their very first game of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup at the hands of Thailand. It was Thailand’s only win of the competition, but it was enough to get players like Bandit Lakhan on the map.
The 28-year-old guard was one of the key floor generals for Thailand during the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers and there’s a possibility that he will be on the team once again in the next stage of the competition.
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (IND)
Bhriguvanshi is one of India’s most prolific scorers and he was present for the national team once again at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup in Changsha. India’s run was cut short by Korea in heartbreaking fashion, but they look like a team on the rise.
Their basketball team is also a team on the rise and the 27-year-old bearded scorer should be a huge part of it heading into the future. A veteran of 5 Asia Cup appearances, Bhriguvanshi has been bothered with injuries, but is expected to be back for the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Kevin Yonas Sitorus (INA)
The 6ft 5in (1.95m) stretch forward might have been one of the least experienced 3x3 player on his squad, but he’s a prized prospect for the Indonesia national team in the fullcourt game.
The 24-year-old was on Indonesia’s squad at the SEABA Championship back in 2017 and the SEABA Pre-Qualifiers, so maybe he’ll get another crack at it during the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers as well?
Mahmoud Abdeen (JOR)
Abdeen has had his success as the lead guard of the Jordan national team on the hardwood and he’s helped them to a 5th place finish in the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup as well. Jordan took down Japan, one of the best teams in the tournament, before taking the eventual runners-up Mongolia down to the wire in the quarter-finals.
The 31-year-old guard was Jordan’s best player at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017, averaging 14.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in that tournament. It would probably be wise to include him for the Asia Cup Qualifiers, too.
Ting Chun Hong (MAS)
Malaysia is a young squad in both the 3x3 and the traditional basketball format and 23-year-old Ting Chun Hong has been a star on both courts.
Ting’s squad finished at 18th in Changsha and now he turns his focus on towards leading Malaysia to a return to the Asia Cup once again. The 6ft 3in (1.91m) wing led Malaysia in scoring with 13.6 points per game at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers.
Kisal Cooray (SRI)
Cooray is ranked at 627th in the world of 3x3 basketball, not bad for a 21-year-old.
More impressively, he was Sri Lanka’s leading rebounder (5.8 boards per game) at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers. Sri Lanka will need a lot more from the 6ft 4in (1.92m) power forward if they want to make it back to the FIBA Asia Cup for the first time since 2009.