IF Tab Baldwin would have his way, he’s more than willing to recommend any of the three international coaches currently in the country as part of the World Hoops Clinic to join him as consultant of Gilas Pilipinas.
Baldwin has long known Natxo Lescano, Nenad Vucinic, and Pero Cameron and believes all three, given their vast experience in international basketball, could be of help to the Philippine men’s team currently being handled by coach Chot Reyes.
The Serbian Vucinic and the New Zealander Cameron coached and played in both the Olympics and World Cups, while Lescano, a Spaniard, had experience coaching in the Euroleague and the FIBA Africa Championship, aside from being a consultant for Gilas along with Baldwin when it was about to embark for its first Fiba World Cup stint in the last 36 years in 2014.
“I would recommend them certainly because the knowledge that they bring is outside the box in terms of how we coach here in the Philippines, which I think I was brought here on that basis,” said Baldwin, the former Gilas Pilipinas coach and now Ateneo mentor, during the formal press launch of the three-day coaching clinic on Wednesday at the Discovery Suites Hotel.
“But that’s obviously up to Chot and the powers that be.”
Vucinic and Pero attended the media presentation, while Lescano is expected to arrive on Thursday. The two were joined by Baldwin and Gilas deputy Jimmy Alapag, who is also part of the June 16-18 clinic at the Marikina Sports Complex – and affiliated with the MVP Sports Foundation – along with Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
The three no doubt can give Gilas valuable inputs as far as playing international basketball is concerned, especially now that Australia and New Zealand had been incorporated by Fiba into a bigger Asia-Oceania zone.
Baldwin vouched for the credentials of Lescano and Co.
“I would have attested the fact that these guys have great values as coaches,” stressed the 59-year-old Baldwin.
“It’s not up to me, but I think they would be honored and would be fascinated by the opportunity. Anybody, any coaches, we’re all intrigued by the Philippines before we come here. It’s an interesting question, but I really don’t have an answer,” was Baldwin’s reply to SPIN.ph.
The American-New Zealander though, was also quick to point out how Reyes has surrounded himself with great coaching minds that include the likes of Alapag, and champion coaches Jong Uichico, Josh Reyes, and Nash Racela.
“He’s obviously surrounded with coaches who have a lot of experience. All of these guys are well-known to him and are close confidants. So he’s got his group,” said Baldwin, who was consulted by Reyes when he was in the process of forming the current Gilas Pilipinas training pool.