13 November, 2023
08 May, 2024
16 Wael Arakji (RIY)
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Key FIBA WASL players shining in the Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers thus far

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - The FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL) Season 2 is in the midst of a two-week break, but some of its marquee names continue to shine and be talked about.

That's because they have been making noise with their national teams in Window 1 of the ongoing FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers. Take a look at how they've performed thus far!

Wael Arakji

Guard, Al Riyadi

Eyes will definitely be on Lebanon following their runners-up finish in the last Asia Cup, and set to lead the charge in the journey back to the continental conclave is Wael Arakji.

The reigning Asia Cup MVP should easily be one of the big crowd-drawers in the Qualifiers just like what he's been doing with Al Riyadi in West Asia League, wherein he's presently posting per-game numbers of 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and a steal per game.

Arakji had already shown why he's one of the continent's top players today, when he helped Lebanon take down Syria, 87-78, in Damascus for a winning start to their campaign. There, he registered 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 8 assists.

Mohamad Bilal Atli

Forward, Al-Ittihad Ahli

Mohamad Bilal Atli made a good account of himself in his first-ever national team outing in Syria's close loss to Lebanon before a big home crowd at the Al Fayhaa Stadium.

There, the 29-year-old posted 15 points on 42.9-percent shooting from the floor, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal as he made the most of his 32 minutes on the floor.

It should no longer come as a surprise that he played that well in his debut. The 2.03 M (6'8") big man has been starring for Al-Ittihad Ahli in the West Asia League.

He's been averaging 17.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game,  playing a major role to help the Syrian club reach the sub-zone playoffs.

Abdulwahab Alhamwi

Center, Al Wahda

Syria are looking to make their way back into the Asia Cup and what better way to bolster their bid by bringing in the towering presence that is Abdulwahab Alhamwi.

The 2.20 M (7'3") center should help in minimizing the opposition's rim pressure but he'd surely be a concern for them offense-wise as well, just like what he's shown with Al Wahda in the West Asia League through norms of 9.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.

In their clash against Lebanon, Alhamwi posted 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal as he played a key role in giving the Lebanese a major scare.

Norvel Pelle

Forward, Shahrdary Gorgan

Norvel Pelle is back for his first tour of duty for Lebanon since the 2017 Asia Cup and the high-leaping big man is coming in with much more experience under his belt.

The 2.11 M (6'11") bruiser will surely be beloved by more fans as well, for he's expected to bring his electrifying dunks and highlight-worthy plays into the Asia Cup Qualifiers - just like what he's been doing for Shahrdary Gorgan in the West Asia League.

Pelle had been key in the Iranian ball club's 6-0 sweep of the Group Phase as he's been averaging 12.7 points on 60.4-percent FG shooting, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game.

The former NBA forward came up big as well in the Cedars' victory over Syria, tallying 17 points on 6-of-9 FG shooting, 7 rebounds, and a game-high 5 blocks.

Keep an eye out for

These other FIBA WASL players are surely raring to strut their wares when their teams go back to action on February 26 in the conclusion of the Asia Cup Qualifiers' first window.

Sina Vahedi

Guard, Shahrdary Gorgan

At 23, Sina Vahedi has shown how bright Iran's future could be with him running the point, and the Asia Cup Qualifiers should be another avenue for him to display as much.

The heady floor general should come in with high confidence thanks to his showings Shahrdary Gorgan. He helped steer the Iranian side to sweep its way into the West Asia League with stats of 17.3 points - a team second-best - alongside 2.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and a steal per game. 

Qais Omar Alshabebi

Forward, Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai are set to compete in the FIBA WASL-Gulf League Qualification to Semi-Finals once again and lead big man Qais Omar Alshabebi is a big reason why.

The 32-year-old is currently averaging 12.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and a block per game as he continues to be a consistent figure for the ball club, and he's surely looking to do the same for UAE now that they are playing in their maiden Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Leading the national team is nothing new to Alshabebi. He posted impressive numbers of 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks per contest to bring UAE past the Pre-Qualifiers, using their 2021 GBA Pre-Qualifiers heartbreak as motivation. 

Omar Jamaleddine

Guard, Sagesse

Lebanon's Omar Jamaleddine is coming into the Asia Cup Qualifiers as one of the younger players in the competition, but that should not be an issue for the 23-year-old guard.

He's averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds for Sagesse in the West Asia League. That includes a 22-point, 10-rebound outing in a 101-58 win over Al-Ittihad Ahli in their Group Phase closer to finish no. 2 in Group A and reach the sub-zone's Qualification to Semi-Finals. 

Ali Shubayli

Forward, Al-Ahli Jeddah
Saudi Arabia

Al-Ahli Jeddah fell just short of reaching the Gulf League Final Phase but not before giving a major fight that saw them nearly turn around their season from a 0-3 start.

One of those responsible for giving themselves a chance after such a bad start was Al Shubayli. The 28-year-old winger was key in their two-game win streak before finishing their campaign with commendable numbers of 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

Hassan Abdullah

Guard, Al Shorta

Al Shorta didn't have an ideal FIBA WASL-West Asia League run but Hassan Abdullah served as one of their few bright spots, and the 32-year-old could carry over his rhythm with Iraq.

The 1.88 M (6'2") shooting guard posted solid per-game averages for his ball club with 9.3 points with an 80-percent rate from the foul line, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.