New Spain basketball coach excited and grateful for the challenge

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-11-30 20:05:05

Replacing Sergio Scariolo as the coach of the Spanish national basketball team looks like an intimidating task, but his replacement, Juan Antonio Orenga is relishing the job that lies ahead.

Scariolo announced his resignation after almost four years in the job on Tuesday after leading Spain to the gold medal in the 2009 and 2011 European Championships and to silver in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The 46-year-old Orenga who had been working as assistant to Scariolo, now has to lead Spain in their defense of the 2013 European Championships and also prepare for the 2014 World Championships. To add more pressure to his task, Spain is the host in 2014 and will be expected to perform in front of their home fans.

It is a huge challenge for Orenga, who has coached the Under-20 side and made 128 appearances for his country as a player.

"It was a surprise that filled me with joy and also with responsibility," said Orenga on his appointment, adding that he went into the job with "the highest hopes."

"I am very grateful to Jose Luis Saez (Spanish Basketball Federation President) and everyone who has shown confidence in me and who has helped me to grow as a professional until we have come to this moment," he added, before giving his gratitude to his predecessor.

"He has shown incredible dedication and has helped me a lot in the past few years. We have been working very well in the past few years and we have to continue along the lines that have made us a force in Europe and mean that on a world level only the United States are more powerful we are," he concluded.

Posted in: Basketball

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