Face of women's basketball once wowed Pinoy fans

WOMEN'S basketball poster girl Sabrina Ionescu, who was selected as the No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty yesterday, was a one-time Philippine visitor.

A member of the United States 3x3 team, Ionescu led her country to a 4-1 record and in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan two years ago.

The USA women's team finished fifth, losing to Italy in the quarterfinals.

"3x3 has been very fun," said Ionescu in an interview with ABS-CBN News website. "Adjusting to the game and the officials and the atmosphere has been really fun here."

The University of Oregon product also competed in the Skills Contest competition, clocking in 27.03 seconds.

Unfortunately, Ionescu's time was not enough to advance to the finals, as the top four players from Skills Contest - France's Marie-Eve Paget, Switzerland's Nancy Fora, Hungary's Alexandra Theodorean and Kazakhstan's Zalina Kurazova, each registered times faster than 27 seconds.

Still, Ionescu's phenomenal talent has wowed the Filipino basketball who went to Bulacan to see the future of WNBA.

Ionescu had 26 triple doubles in her career at Oregon, over twice as many as any other US NCAA Division I player.

Playing for three-time PAC-12 champions, Ionescu was the only player in NCAA history to finish with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.

In international play, Ionescu was a gold medalist in the 2019 Pan American Games 3x3 basketball, 2014 Fiba U17 World Cup and in 2013 Fiba Americas U16 Championship.

The Liberty went 10-24 last season and finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. Ionescu hopes to make New York a proud big market again in basketball.