ALEXANDRIA (FIBA AfroBasket 2017/FIBA U19 World Championship 2017) - Two months after leading Spain to the title of the FIBA U20 European Championship, Juan Antonio Orenga is tackling the challenge of helping Egypt regain its basketball glory of old.
"We have to be patient and work hard to achieve good results. Success doesn’t come overnight." - Orenga
Cairo will host the first-ever FIBA U19 World Championship staged on the African continent next summer, and Orenga's proven track record at the helm of youth teams is expected to improve Egypt's 6-17 record in the history of the competition.
"Our goal over the next few months is to improve the teams technically and tactically. Then we'll go step by step into tournaments and we'll play to win every competition that we participate in," Orenga told FIBA.com while hosting a 25-player U19 training camp in Alexandria.
"Hosting a tournament of the U19 Worlds' magnitude in Africa will be a great experience for everybody - supporters, local players and those from other countries. I am confident it will be a great success for Egyptian basketball."
Asked about his assessment of players that he has worked with in Cairo last week, Orenga said they have shown a lot of interest to learn and are picking up his mentality.
"Surely I will try to keep the core of the U17 and U18 teams that played in Spain and Rwanda this summer and try to build a competitive team."
But Orenga's duties won't be limited to the U19 team as the 50-year-old has become the third coach of Egypt's senior men's national team - after Amr Aboul Kheir and Ahmed Marei - in the last three years.
While Aboul Kheir guided the team to a runners-up finish at the FIBA AfroBasket 2013, Marei's Egypt claimed a 5th-Place finish last year.
Can the man whose Spanish team trounced Egypt at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014, implement his philosophy in the space of a year for the country that last won the continental title back in 1983?
"We had some of best 12 players in the world, and although Egypt played well in the first half, we readjusted in the second half," he recalled of the clash played in Granada two years ago.
"Michael Jordan once said: 'I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.' So, this is my motto. As a team we [Spain] lost to Angola at the 1992 Olympics - I was part of that team -. Two years later we lost against China at the World Cup. From there, we started to climb the mountain and reached the top of the world by winning the World Cup 2006.
"This is the mindset that I hope to implement in Egypt. We have to be patient and work hard to achieve good results. Success doesn’t come overnight."
Orenga's first meaningful competition as head coach of Egypt will take place early next year when the Pharaoh take to the court for FIBA Africa Zone 5 AfroBasket 2017 qualifiers.