27 September, 2021
03 October
The Final Player Power Rankings for the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021
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The Final Player Power Rankings for the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021

AMMAN (Jordan) - With the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021 entering the final weekend, it's time to take a look at who has been tearing it up at the tournament and who could yet have the decisive say in the medal chase.

Taking into account the first ever Player Power Rankings before the competition tipped off, as well as who have impressed so far, here's the updated rankings, led by FIBA women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen.

Do you agree with @basketmedia365 on his top eight picks and who else is in the shake-up for MVP and the TISSOT All Star Five

#1 Xu Han - China (+5)

Tournament Statistics: 23.7 EFF / 17.0 PTS / 64.1 FG% / 7.0 REB / 3.3 AST 

A huge smile like always and some huge performances, is Xu Han on course for another All-Star Five apperance and maybe even the TISSOT MVP award? She has really played well and taken the baton as leader from her teammate Yueri Li. She has shot the ball amazingly well, not only down low, but also from range. She has also handed out more than three assists per game, which underlines her IQ and she has shown she can be very effective in the high post and finding her teammates. All of which combined, means a well deserved jump of five places to the top of the rankings.

#2 Sami Whitcomb - Australia (-)

Tournament Statistics: 24.5 EFF / 18.5 PTS / 6.8 REB / 7.3 AST 

So much has been said about Whitcomb already and not least by head coach Paul Goriss who praised his team's standout after the last game not only for her on-court contributions, but also her professionalism and commitment to the cause. The fact that she can be under so much pressure and have so much defensive attention and yet score and create at these levels is amazing and it is little wonder she is an MVP candidate for both the FIBA Commentators and also a top pick as the most likely from Amman to step out for the Opals at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup

#3 Yueru Li - China (-2)

Tournament Statistics
: 19.0 EFF / 14.0 PTS / 65 FG% / 4.7 REB / 4 AST

A drop of two places should not be taken too harshly by Li, since it was only because her teammate Xu Han and Sami Whitcomb have been so good. The center has still shot the ball really well and also done some great work showcasing her passing skills. It might be that she was so effective in the Olympics that maintaining that level was always going to be difficult. Still, what a baller and she is still learning this game. Don't back against her coming up with a huge performance on the last day.

#4 Himawari Akaho - Japan (-1)

Tournament Statistics: 18.0 EFF / 13.7 PTS / 3.7 REB / 2.7 STL

She has never been about big numbers, but more of her composure and hard work on the floor and this is exactly what we have had. While Japan have played well, they have maybe not been at their brilliant best. However, the defense and quick hands of Akaho in particular have been important and she is someone who remains pivotal to their chances of landing a fifth straight title. 

#5 Sijing Huang - China (new entry)

Tournament Statistics: 20.7 EFF / 10.7 PTS / 68.4 FG% / 5.0 REB / 3.7 AST 

What a job Huang has done and it has been perfectly timed. Just when China lose both Meng Li in the 3 spot and Ting Shao in the 4 spot, up steps the forward with some amazing shooting, rebounding and assists. Considering she has played a modest 17 minutes per game, she has still squeezed out maximum production and impact during her court time. She could be the player that propels China to gold if she continues to play like this. 

#6 Hyejin Park - Korea (new entry)

Tournament Statistics: 18.8 EFF / 17.8 PTS / 5.3 REB / 3.8 AST 

What  a baller Park is when she shifts up the gears. While she consistently holds a great level of play, her ability to bail her team out when they are in trouble is so priceless. She did it in the last game against Chinese Taipei when Korea really needed it. She can score, she works hard on the boards and is such a great passer as well. If she finishes this tournament strongly, then Korea have a great shot at a medal.

#7 Saori Miyazaki - Japan (new entry)

Tournament Statistics: 17.7 EFF / 9.0 PTS / 9.3 APG

The playmaker has handed out a brilliant number of assists and that 9.3 per game shows the depth of guard talent more generally that Japan has. With their spacing and shooting, they need someone to find the right players at the right time and she has stepped up and delivered. If anyone had worried they would miss their Olympic record-breaking guard Rui Machida, but Miyazaki has eased concerns with her largely tremendous displays, 

#8 Isaem Choi - Korea (new entry)

Tournament Statistics: 17.0 EFF / 13.8 PTS / 6.8 REB / 2.0 AST

With many leading lights across the competition missing and in Korea's case Jisu Park, they really did need someone to step up and it has been Choi. The forward has taken her opportunity to impress in a big way. While she showed out in game one with that spectacular display, she has made other important contributions. When she is not scoring or hits a game-drought, she still does a lot of physical work and has been so important on the glass for her country.

*The player power rankings are entirely subjective and are in no way a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author.

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The FIBA Women's Asia Cup Player Power Rankings are put together by our panel, led by FIBA's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen. He eats, sleeps and breathes female hoops and is incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women's game at all levels. Paul uses an extensive network of players, coaches, clubs and Federations to shape his work and opinions.