VEN - National team coaching appointment expected by Friday
CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Venezuela had wanted continuity in their men’s national team but were unable to sign the coach of the previous two summers, Eric Musselman, to a new contract.
The country then pursued one of the most respected names in international basketball, former Argentina boss Sergio Hernandez, only to find themselves unable to meet the salary demands of the tactician.
Now two men appear to be in the best position to land an important job with Venezuelan Basketball Federation President Carmelo Cortez weighing up the merits of each.
They are former Uruguay boss Néstor “Che” García, who like Hernandez hails from Argentina and has worked on the staff of national team boss Julio Lamas, and Spaniard Gustavo Aranzana.
"We were very interested in reaching a financial settlement with Hernandez, but we told him that we were unable to cover his salary requirement,” Cortez said.
“We would have liked to have had a coach of his experience and class, but could not.”
Cortez, who was speaking to the Venezuelan media, added: “Before the 15th of this month, we will take a decision.
“Besides “Che” and Aranzana, other coaches have expressed an interest.
“We haven’t ruled out anything.”
Venezuela will be hoping to reach the podium at the FIBA Americas Championship and at bare minimum claim a top-four finish to qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The national team won one of its two games when last year´s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament was held in Caracas and did not progress from the initial group stage, with Lithuania and Nigeria edging them out on a tie-breaker.