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Hernandez decides to coach Argentina again
BUENOS AIRES (2015 FIBA Americas Championship/Olympics) - Sergio Hernandez has returned to the helm of Argentina's national team.
The 51-year-old, who has succeeded Julio Lamas, will now try to engineer a run to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Hernandez served as the head coach of Argentina from 2005 through the 2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
He agreed to serve as an assistant to his successor, Lamas, up to the 2012 Olympics in London.
Unlike his first time in charge, when he replaced Ruben Magnano following Argentina's Gold Medal triumph at the 2004 Athens Olympics and inherited arguably the most talented national team in the history of South American basketball with Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, Carlos Delfino and Fabricio Oberto among the players, Hernandez will now lead a team that is about to experience a generational change.
Though Scola is still involved, it remains to be seen which, if any, of the other veterans will continue.
If Ginobili decides not to come back, he will be one of the team's biggest cheerleaders.
He expressed excitement over the return of his former coach.
Nocioni was also among the first to react.
Hernandez is clearly enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead the team again.
"More than the initial feeling that I had when I was appointed in 2005, that of tremendous happiness, enthusiasm and pride, today another aspect was added to my final decision and it was crucial," Hernandez said.
"That was to give my contribution in such a delicate time.
"This is a different challenge from the one I had back then. Those that have more experience must take charge.
"That's how it has to be. Today we are all part of the national team. To be able to be in this new process motivates me. It is a challenge, a commitment.
"I felt I could not turn down this opportunity from that point of view, besides any financial aspect. It's a time when one has to be present. It's yes or yes. That is the way I think of it."
The South Americans had a chance to win at the death but an attempted three-pointer by Nocioni bounced off the rim.
Under Lamas, Argentina finished fourth at the London Olympics and last year, they lost to Brazil in the Round of 16 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
Argentina will compete at this summer's FIBA Americas Championship and attempt to clinch a place in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Hernandez has received a lot of warm wishes from fans, friends and players.
He thanked all of them.
Gracias totales a todos aquellos que con sus mensajes me llenan el "Alma"! La selección Arg.fue y es,de todos quienes amamos el basquetbol— sergio hernandez (@ssergioh) January 19, 2015