26 June, 2023
02 July
to read

The FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2023 Player Power Rankings; Volume 2

SYDNEY (Australia) - The curtain will soon fall on the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2023 and a number of ballers have made a big impression since the action got underway in Sydney.


With this in mind, it's time for the second installment of the Player Power Rankings via FIBA women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen who has been reviewing the list based on the first Volume of the Player Power Rankings issued on he eve of the tournament. Many of the following players are also in the running to be voted MVP of the competition

Do you agree with @basketmedia365 on his top ten picks? Who is too high or too low? Join the debate #FIBAAsiaCupWomen

#1 Xu Han - China  (-)

Never in doubt was it? Xu Han keeps that coveted top spot after demonstrating her brilliance as (surely) Asia's biggest women's basketball star.She has been the colossus that everyone in China had hoped for, while even for neutrals it's tough to not enjoy the stellar contributions and smiles whenever she is on the court. Leading the FIBA Women's AsiaCup 2023 in efficiency and scoring, and co-leader for blocks, she has done it all and maybe there is more to come. A nightmare to guard, is she an MVP in waiting?

#2 Himawari Akaho - Japan  (+1) 

This edition of the FIBA Women's AsiaCup feels like deja vu with Akaho again doing the business for Japan and could be the baller that takes her country to yet another piece of silverware. Leading in efficiency, rebounding and second in scoring, it's contributions right across the board for the forward. But what the stats never really show her defense and the calming impact she has on the court. Could she now potentially follow her compatriot Ramu Tokashiki and become the second Japanese player to win consecutive MVP awards?

#3 Mai Yamamoto - Japan  (new entry) 

The FIBA Women's AsiaCup 2023 has proved to be a breakout tournament for Yamamoto who did win the title in Amman two years ago, but only played a handful of minutes. Hit the fast-forward button to here in Sydney and she is a leading contributor for Japan. She has come through a long list of guards and taken an opportunity to show she can lead. She's made multiple Top Performers lineups, could be in the All-Star Five and now we will find out if she has the ability to continue having the hot-hand in the biggest games.

#4 Meng Li - China  (-)

With two big-hitters absent through injury, Meng Li has turned up the dial to meet China's need and in doing so, she has shown her experience and skills almost more than ever before with some top performances. Maybe not always in terms of huge numbers, the winger has imposed herself physically and set down the minimum standards needed for her teammates if they want to realize their dream of winning a first title in more than a decade. Just a great leader and so efficient she will have a big say in the medal outcome. 

#5 Jisu Park - Korea   (-3)

While it's a drop in the Player Power Rankings for Park, she has still shown so much leadership for Korea and showcased her qualities. But it has been one of those tournaments that will really get under Korea's skin since they lost in a close one to New Zealand in their opener and then lost to China in overtime. Things could have been so, so different. Park She leads her team in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks which shows what a big tournament she has had - despite not making the Semi-Finals or OQT. 

#6 Penina Davidson - New Zealand  (+2) 

Davidson has delivered! What a tournament the powerhouse has had for the Tall Ferns. Their historic campaign and guaranteed highest ever finish at the FIBA Women's AsiaCup had essentially been built on the platform of the center's superb performances. She is on course to deliver a spectacular tournament double-double if she keeps going at this rate. Her scoring, rebounding, defense and relentless approach at both ends of the court continues to be a standout aspect of New Zealand's play. 

#7 Charlisse Leger-Walker - New Zealand (new entry) 

The guard's stunning 34-point performance against Philippines was almost reason enough on its own to catapult Leger-Walker into these rankings since it played the primary role in putting the Tall Ferns into the Semi-Finals for the first time. The second highest scorer in the competition with almost 20 points per outing, she has also contributed more than 3 assists per game to underline her creative side, as well as leading New Zealand in steals. 

#8 Lauren Scherf - Australia (new entry) 

It was always going to be fascinating to see who would emerge out of a crowded Opals field and post the leading tournament performance for Australia. So far, it has been center Lauren Scherf who has stepped up to the plate. Standing in the top four in the competition for field goal percentage and also rebounding, that is evidence of the efficient and highly impressive job she has done for her country, while her height and size also makes her an asset defensively. If she can finish strong, she take an All-Star Five spot.

#9 Jihyun Park - Korea (new entry) 

While all eyes were on Jisu Park, Kim Danbi and Leeseul Kang, the guard shone brightly for Korea. Still only 23-years-old, this could be  considered as a breakout tournament for Park. She played at the Worlds five years ago as a teenager and has subsequently came up with the occasional top performance. But here in Sydney, she has consistently shown she can be a leading contributor and influencer on the court for her country. She has contributed across all facets of the game and it's a great sign of what is to come in the future.

#10 Jack Animam - Philippines (new entry) 

You just have to stand and applaud the way that the Pilipinas forward told herself she was going to produce her best ever game and she fulfilled that present to herself with an epic outing in the famous win against Chinese Taipei. She also signed off with a double-double against New Zealand as her team only just missed out on the Semi-Finals. Scoring, rebounding and all the little stuff like her footwork and smarts, as well as her leadership. Animam fully deserves to enter these Player Power Rankings. 

*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 AsiaCup 2023 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.