The upcoming third window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers just got to a whole new level as NBA players Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker headline the Australian national team set to square off against Japan and Gilas Pilipinas in late June and early July.
The announcement was made by Basketball Australia in an article published Thursday.
The Boomers, who have already qualified for the next round, hope to keep their perfect 4-0 record unblemished in Group B with the addition of the two NBA standouts.
The 27-year-old Dellavedova has been with the Boomers program as early as 2009 and last played for his country two years ago during the Olympics. A point guard standing at 6-foot-4, Dellavedova is a tenacious defender and fearless penetrator.
Thon Maker on the other hand is a towering 7-foot-1 center from South Sudan and is set to make his international debut with the Australian team. Maker and Dellavedova are teammates in the NBA playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. The other Boomers named to the third window include Australian National Basketball League players Angus Brandt, Jason Cadee, Cameron Gliddon, Chris Goulding, Nick Kay, Daniel Kickert, Kevin Lisch, Nathan Sobey, and Jesse Wagstaff and Slovenian league veteran Mitch McCarron. The addition of NBA caliber players is obviously a welcome sight for the Boomers but head coach Andrej Lemanis is still cautious of their opponents.
"We know it is going to be difficult playing Japan and the Philippines at their respective venues," warned Lemanis as quoted in the article. "We saw how loud it was when we played in Melbourne with the Filipino fans dominating the environment and with a stadium capacity of 50,000, that game is something all the guys are looking forward to."
The Boomers captured an 84-68 win over Gilas last February 22 in Melbourne during their first meeting but the Filipino crowd filled the stadium as if it were a home game for the Philippine team.
Dellavedova, Maker, and the rest of the Boomers will first face Japan on June 29 before taking on the Philippines on July 2 at the Philippine Arena.