NU Bullpups' Rhayyan Amsali leads PH team bid for Fiba 3x3 U18 Asia Cup title
NU Bullpups' Rhayyan Amsali and Michael Malonzo team up with Ateneo de Cebu's Andrew Velasco and Holy Christian's Harvey Pagsanjan for the Philippine team competing in the Fiba 3x3 U18 Asia Cup. Photo from Anton Altamirano's Twitter account

NATIONAL University Bullpups star Rhayyan Amsali leads the Philippine team set to compete in the Fiba 3x3 Under-18 Asia Cup that kicks off on Friday in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

The rosters of the 16 men’s and 16 women’s team participating in the three-day tournament were finalized on the eve of the event presented by Under Armour.

Leading the way for the PH boys squad is Amsali, the 16-year-old forward of the Bullpups. The 6-foot-4 Amsali averaged 10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals in UAAP Season 79, where NU finished runner-up after getting swept in the Finals by Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws.

Amsali’s NU teammate Michael Malonzo, and guards Andrew Velasco of Ateneo de Cebu and Hope Christian High School’s Harvey Pagsanjan complete the Philippine team that’s seeded second in the tournament.

The Philippines is in Pool B along with seventh-seed Kazakhstan and 11th-seed Malaysia. The young Filipino cagers open their campaign with a double-header, first on Saturday afternoon against Kazakhstan before taking on Malaysia to close the second day of the tournament.

Meanwhile on the girls side, the sixth-seed Philippines squad is made up of Melody Cac, Reynalyn Ferrer, Mayu Goto and 14-year-old Kristine Cayabyab. Grouped in Pool D, they start with a  double-header on Saturday against the winner of the Pool B qualifiers, which could either be Lebanon, Vietnam or Jordan. Then they end the day against fifth-seed Bahrain.

The top two teams from each pool advance to the knockout quarterfinals on Sunday and winners will face off in the semis where the victors advance to the finals to cap the three-day event.

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