BOCAUE — Thon Maker has only had a handful of practices for the Australian national basketball team, but Luc Longley already likes what he’s sees.
The Chicago Bull great said that the Milwaukee Bucks sophomore is sure to be a big help to the Boomers, not just for the third window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers but also for bigger battles ahead.
“We’ve only seen five practices and one game, but he certainly brings an athleticism and length to us. He helps us a lot,” shared Longley, now an assistant coach for the Aussies' seniors team.
Maker impressed in his first cap for Australia, posting 13 points and 12 rebounds in its slim 79-78 defeat to Japan on Friday.
And if that would be considered as the benchmark, he sure is bound to churn out better numbers in the future.
Longley, however, acknowledges that it will take more than just Maker for the Boomers to have a strong finish to the first round of these Asian qualifiers, especially against a resolute Gilas Pilipinas squad which they play on Monday in the battle for the top spot in Group B.
“The Philippines style of basketball is very difficult to guard. I suspect that they’ll be out there playing with everything they’ve got and they’ve proven to be potent offensively when they get going,” he said.
“So our job is to not get them rolling and jump on them early but we’ll see what happens.”