CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Eric Musselman has expressed the hope that he will remain in charge of Venezuela when the country hosts the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
The American, who was at the helm of the national the past two summers, including this summer when Venezuela staged the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), saw his contract with the "squadra criolla" expire after the team fell short of the Quarter-Finals.
He met with Venezuelan Basketball Federation President Carmelo Cortez after the OQT, and has now stated clearly his hope of staying in the job.
"I would like to continue with the national team," said Musselman, who is right now gearing up for another season in the NBDL with Los Angeles D-Fenders.
"I feel a special tie with the players and the Venezuelan federation.
"I hope to continue talking with Carmelo (Cortez)."
Venezuela clinched a spot at the OQT by coming in fifth at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
After being named hosts of the OQT, and led by their NBA guard Greivis Vasquez, Venezuelan scraped a narrow triumph over Nigeria in their first game but then lost to Lithuania, 100-82.
The margin of defeat was so heavy that Musselman's team eventually lost a goal differential tie-breaker with Nigeria and Lithuania, who also went 1-1 in group play.
The Lithuanians and Nigerians ultimately qualified for the Olympics, along with Russia.
"He (Cortez) received me and my wife in the new offices of the Federation just days after our game against Lithuania," Musselman said.
"We had a productive meeting. I'm sure we'll talk soon."
Cortez, who only this week received the good news that a terrific organization of the OQT had paved the way for Venezuela to host the FIBA Americas Championship, is keeping his cards close to his chest.
"I'd rather finish talking with Eric to know where we stand," Cortez said.
"I also want to talk first with those of the national government to tell them the things we have for the tournament that is coming up."