Cuba and the host Puerto Rico will face a decisive clash today in their aspirations to advance to the semifinals of the Caribbean Baseball Series San Juan-2015, which takes place at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
Both the Cuban staff Vegueros of Pinar del Rio and the locals, Cangrejeros de Santurce, filed a pair of losses after falling on Tuesday against the Dominican Republic and Mexico, respectively.
Despite attending the traditional baseball tournament with a strong squad, widely reinforced with members of the national team, Cuba is on the ropes and revives the ghosts of its pale performance during the previous edition at Isla de Margarita-2014, in Venezuela, where it closed in the last seat.
Tactical gaps led to the Cuban defeat by a closed 2-1 margin in its debut last Monday facing Mexico's Tomateros de Culiacan, --undisputed leader of the tournament with 2 wins in 2 presentations--, while the lack of timely hitting led to failure on Tuesday against the Dominican's Gigantes del Cibao, with a score of 6-1.
In search of the vital win, Alfonso Urquiola will use the right-hander pitcher Yosvani Torres today to try to stop a local team that is also out of options and will certainly use all their weapons as well.
Besides the Cuba-Puerto Rico clash, the Series reserves for Wednesday the attractive duel between the Dominican's Gigantes del Cibao and Venezuela's Caribes de Anzoátegui, owners of 1 victory with no defeat each and big contenders for the title.
The Cuban triathlon team involved at the Pan-American Cup in Punta Guilarte, Puerto Rico, returned home with a balance of 1 silver medal, among men, and excellent performances by the women.
In the men's event, Michel Gonzalez finished 2nd with time of 1:54.32 hours, only surpassed by Costa Rican Leonardo Chacon (1:54.24), while the bronze medal corresponded to Colombian Carlos Javier Quinchara (1:54.34), according to the website of the International Federation.
The most prominent worldwide figure of the tournament, held this Sunday, was the Irish Bryan Keane, who was now 4th (1:56.30), and previously had finished 3rd at the Ibero-American contest, recently made in Havana.
Between women, the Cubans Lisandra Hernandez and Leslie Amat had a creditable performance by concluding 4th and 5th, respectively, in an event won by American Erin Jones (2:09.56).
Hernández (2:15.08) and Amat (2:15.37) were also relegated by the also American Spive Taylor (2:12.54), and the local Melissa Rios (2:14.36).
This event granted points for the continental ranking with a view to qualifying for Toronto-2015, Canada, to be held in July, and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016 (Brazil).
Now Cubans will train at home to attend on February 22nd the Pan-American Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Tournament in Barranquilla, Colombia.
The Cuban judokas Aliuska Ojeda (57 kilograms), Maylín del Toro (63) and Kaliema Antomachín (78) left for France, where they will have a training base before competing from February 20th to 22nd at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix, in Germany.
Ojeda, del Toro, and Antomachín will be accompanied by coach Ismael Borboña and doctor Edel Robaina, Armando Padron, member of the technical staff of the women's national team, told local ACN news agency.
The competition in Dusseldorf shall also be attended by a men's squad made up by José Armenteros (100), Ivan Silva (81) and Magdiel Estrada (73), led by Coach Justo Noda, and supported by Doctor Ubelino Moreno.
Estrada, Silva and Armenteros, world runner-up in Chelyabinsk 2014 (Russia), competed this weekend in the Visé Open, in Belgium.
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