LOOK closer at the athletes that lead on the hard court and bring their teams to victory. Every team has that top performing athlete that stands out and rallies the rest to optimal performance, of various positions, and play styles, here’s a quick run through of the players whom you should look out for at every FIBA match.
Bobby Ray Parks of Gilas Pilipinas
Parks’ first trip to the Asia Cup and coming back to the national squad may not have gone as planned for him or the team. He was able to demonstrate, however, that he can be one of the team’s most productive players and is capable of handling a variety of tasks effectively.
13.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game on 48.4 percent shooting, 50.0 percent three-point shooting, and 100 percent free-throw shooting
Wael Arakji of the Lebanon Cedars
Arakji has recently been dubbed a clutch artist after recent impressive clutch plays that won games for Lebanon. The TSSOT MVP played hard the entire competition, efficiently racking up big stats. Arakji had the highest scoring average during the entire tournament, scoring over 20 points per game and shooting over 50-40-80 percent from the field. Incredible.
26.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.8 steals on 51.7 percent shooting, 45.8 percent three-point shooting, 84.4 percent free-throw shooting
Yuta Watanabe of The Five Reds Japan
Given how much of an impact Watanabe had on the team and how successfully they completed the game, it was unfortunate that he couldn’t participate in Japan’s last match against Australia. The 27-year-old attacker served as the older brother to the younger members of the Akatsuki Five and accomplished a little bit of everything for Japan throughout this Asia Cup run.
16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists per game
Ra GunA of South Korea National Team
In a loss against New Zealand, Korea narrowly missed out on reaching another Asia Cup Final, and Ra’s inaugural Asia Cup was also over. The big guy was a force on offense whether he was scoring in the paint, making shots from mid-range, or even making some three-pointers.
19.3 points, 12.0 rebounds per game on 38.9 percent three-point shooting
Chen Ying-Chun of Chinese Taipe
Chen was close to finishing up one of the Asia Cup’s most clutch efforts when Chinese Taipei was eliminated from the competition on Freddy Ibrahim’s buzzer-beater. Chen tied for the most steals of any player at the Asia Cup with 14 during the competition.
14.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 3.5 steals per game
Thon Maker of The Boomers Australia
Although the Boomers pride themselves on having a balanced squad that doesn’t depend on any one player to get things rolling, it’s difficult to discount Maker’s performance throughout the championship run. What’s more impressive is that Maker only played 25.5 minutes each game to achieve his results.
17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 blocks per game
Wayne Chism Bahrain
Bahrain didn’t advance past the Group Phase after three consecutive defeats, but Chism made sure they at least had a chance. Chism contributed at least 17 points, 14 rebounds, at least 1 steal, and 1 block during the game.
21.3 Points, 17.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 2.3 blocks per game on 50 percent shooting
Zhou Qi of China Dragon
Zhou might have been late to the action, but he wasted no time in making his presence felt. Unfortunately, the game against Lebanon where he had 22 points, 21 rebounds, and 3 blocks was his greatest performance.
15.0 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks per game on 63.0 percent shooting
Pranav Prince of India
India had a difficult Asia Cup, but they have a bright future ahead of them, as they stressed throughout the competition. Prince, a 19 year old who was one of the team’s most productive players, is among those promising youngsters. Consider Prince’s performances as an introduction to his future work rather than as overly impressive in comparison to the others on this list.
9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3 steals per game
Marques Bolden of Indonesia Patriots
In addition to ranking first among all players in efficiency, Indonesia’s great center was among the top 5 in both scoring and regaining the ball. Bolden played a significant role in Indonesia’s impressive run, which is not surprising given how effectively he shot the ball.
21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks per game on 54.1 percent shooting and 43.8 percent three-point shooting
Hamed Haddadi of Iran
You should not discount the 37 year old. The four-time Asia Cup MVP had a double-double and at least four assists in every game he participated in. Old but gold, aged like the finest of wine.
15.8 points, 14.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks per game on 54.2 percent shooting
Ahmad Al Dwairi of Jordan
Al Dwairi missed the last two games due to an injury, but up until that point, he was establishing himself as one of Asia’s top big men. This was confirmed when Jordan defeated Iran when Dwairi outscored Haddadi by 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. A big man on the hard court, and a great one at that.
13.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.7 blocks per game on 53.3 percent shooting
Maxim Marchuk Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan’s successful run through the Asia Cup in Jakarta, Maxim Marchuk was one of the more effective players, recording an 11-point, 6-rebound performance against Iran.
10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds per game on 52 percent shooting
Flynn Cameron of New Zealand Tall Blacks
In his debut Asia Cup, Cameron came within one assist of averaging over 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists—a very uncommon accomplishment. In a crucial game against Korea in the Quarterfinals, the all-around guard came very close to posting a triple-double.
13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game