Lachlan Barker takes aim at the Melbourne Tigers
Lachlan Barker made a positive impression in his NBL1 debut for the Frankston RSL Blues last weekend against Waverley, however the outcome was not what the talented young guard was hoping for.
Barker added 12 points and 3 rebounds in the narrow loss to the Falcons. He demonstrated his shooting prowess by draining a perfect 2-2 from the three-point line, and along with his energy and intensity, is a valuable addition to the Blues lineup despite the loss.
“Yeah it was not the result we wanted,” explained Barker. “First game, you have to find your feet a little bit. I’d like to contribute a bit more and find my open team mates. We are a new team and I think that as we play more, things will come together.”
The Blues are looking to rebound against the Melbourne Tigers on Sunday, with their opponents having dropped their season opener to Bendigo 69-73. As a development player for the Sydney Kings across the past 4 years and having been coached by Tigers NBL legends Andrew Gaze and Leonard Copeland, the history behind the former NBL club was not lost on Barker.
“I loved my time there [at Sydney],” Barker explained. “You will not find a nicer guy that Drewey [Gaze].
“I’ve learned a lot from him and his experience and teaching. Copes [Copeland] as well given his skills and experience. They both always loved reminiscing about their days at Melbourne and their achievements. It clearly was a ‘brotherhood’ and they shared plenty of stories, especially Copes, of the days that they played together. Clearly their time at Melbourne meant a lot for them.
“I’m looking forward to playing against them this Sunday. I’d obviously love to be playing them in the NBL, but they are an organisation that has been around a long with a very ling history.”
One of Melbourne’s stars from round one was Sydney Kings forward Dane Pineau, the son of Brad Pineau who also played for the Melbourne Tigers when they were in the NBL. Barker was looking forward to running against him this weekend.
“I have not talked to him [Pineau] since I’ve been in Melbourne,” added Barker. “Dane’s a great guy and he has started off well this season. Dane works really hard. He crashes the boards real hard, and is obviously someone we will look to stop and limit while match his energy and effort
Pineau who a 10 point and 13 rebound double-double last week against the Braves, and fellow big man Nic Pozoglu, will have their hands full in trying to stop Majok Majok who was a monster in the paint for the Blues against Waverley. Pozoglu, who suited up for the Illawarra Hawks this season, led the Tigers with 18 points and 12 rebounds and will be another player the Blues will need to be mindful of. However Melbourne have also this week brought in import Mike Wells who will suit up for his first game on Sunday. Interestingly enough, Wells played alongside Blues star Damon Bozeman at Saginaw Valley State, so the Blues coaching staff are likely to be well briefed on the newest Tigers addition.
Barker was confident that the Blues had their bases covered and would be well prepared for the Tigers this Sunday.
“We had no trouble scoring last week [against the Falcons] – it was on the defensive end that we let ourselves down. We know we have to lock down better this week, and our communication as a unit has to be better. We are aiming to keep teams to less than 80 points, and if we can do that, it will give us a chance of winning each game.”
While Barker spent the past four NBL seasons with the Kings, he has been suiting up for North West Tasmania in the SEABL, last season averaging 13 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He saw the move to Victoria and the chance to play for Frankston in the NBL1 as a chance to showcase his game in front of a wider audience so that he may be able to make that next step to the NBL as a rostered player.
“I just needed to put myself out there and get noticed,” Barker shared. “It’s one of the reasons I came up to Melbourne. Unfortunately at North West [Tasmania] not a lot of people watch their games, so for me this is the first step. Right now I want to put my best foor forward for Frankston and ensure we are successful and hopefully I can do enough to show I have what it takes and get noticed.”
That next step is this Sunday against the Tigers, and Barker and his Blues team-mates are ready for the challenge.
The Frankston RSL Frankston Blues take on the Melbourne Tigers in round 2 of the 2019 NBL1 season at away this Sunday, 7 April 2019 as part of a double-header with the women. The women’s game tips off at 2:00pm at MSAC, which will also be streamed LIVE on the NBL’s YouTube channel accessible via the game centre link below.