SPANISH coach Natxo Lezcano coming on board for Gilas Pilipinas is a big boost for coach Chot Reyes and the national team since he's considered an expert as far as the European style of play is concerned.
Team consultant Tab Baldwin said the nationals can definitely learn a lot from Lezcano especially at this time when they are gearing up for the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
“He (Lezcano) brings a lot of knowledge and expertise regarding the European style of play and (can provide the) background information on European players which is very valuable both to the (Gilas) players and to the coaching staff as we prepare the team for our upcoming preparation games,” Baldwin told Spin.ph.
The Spanish coach joined Gilas shortly after the team arrived in Vitoria, Spain a few days back as the Filipinos prepare for the world championship set to start on August 30.
The 41-year-old Lezcano is also expected to provide Gilas valuable insights on Senegal, one of teams bracketed in Group B with the national team along with Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece, and Croatia.
The Spanish coach steered Ivory Coast to a fourth place finish in the Fiba-Africa Championships in 2013, bowing to Nigeria in the battle for the bronze in Madagascar.
He is also credited by Reyes for helping Gilas set up camp in Vitoria, Spain.
Baldwin, the 56-year-old former national coach of New Zealand, said Lezcano also has a firm grasp of the Fiba rules, which Gilas players are trying to adjust to.
“We've been talking about all of that (adjusting to Fiba rules) a lot lately and the players are very aware of it,” explained the three-time NBL Coach of the Year from New Zealand.
“But we really won't see the impact of the rules and how we have adjusted until we start playing games under Fiba refs which should be very soon,” he added.