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VEN - Venezuela appoint Musselman, name squad

CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship) - American coach Eric Musselman on Wednesday was unveiled as the new head coach of Venezuela's men's national team that will look to qualify for the London Olympics at this summer's FIBA Americas Championship.

Musselman, a former NBA head coach with the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, takes over the position previously held by Nestor Salazar and will lead the team at the FIBA Americas Championship to be played in Mar del Plata, Argentina, between 30 August and 11 September.

"I will work hard to achieve the objectives set out for Mar del Plata," said the 46-year-old of the Venezuelan Basketball Federation's (FVB) hopes to qualify for the 2012 Games or the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

"I will count on a talented selection, a group of energetic players that will work effectively."

Musselman has previous international coaching experience having been in charge of the Dominican Republic national team last year, leading them to a second-place finish at the Centrobasket.

In recent weeks, he was one of the names linked to the Puerto Rico head coaching vacancy. Veteran Flor Melendez eventually got the nod for that position.

Musselman explained that he was already familiar with Venezuela's key players having seen them play at the collegiate level in the USA.

"I know the level of players like Greivis Vasquez, Oscar Torres and Hector Romero and others who have the talent to help the team qualify for the Olympics,l" he said

Following the appointment of their new coach, the FVB named an 18-man squad in preparation for the FIBA Americas Championship.

Venezuela will come together and hold camp starting on 12 July in La Guaira.

They will play friendly games against Cuba, Panama and Brazil on the weekend of 5-7 August.

FVB president Carmelo Cortez also announced that the national team will take part in the Super Four tournament to be held in Argentina and Uruguay.

"In the Super Four tournament, the team will play two games against Argentina in the city of Córdoba, Argentina on 13 and 14 August. Then the team will travel to Montevideo, Uruguay, to play the host country on 22 and 24 August."

Venezuela 18-man squad ahead of FIBA Americas Championship: Greivis Vasquez, David Cubillan, Heissler Guillent, Oscar Torres, Hector Romero, Rafael Perez, Gregory Echenique, Nestor Colmenares, Luis Bethelmy, Miguel Marriaga, Dwight Lewis, Francisco Centeno, José Bravo, Luis Valera, Windi Graterol, John Romero, Michael Flores and Robert Yriarte.


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