Baseball: Cubans honor baseball team Pirates for great performance
Despite losing in the Grand Final of the 54th Cuban Baseball Series playing Ciego de Ávila's Tigres, Los Piratas of Isla de la Juventud wrote one of the most epic and memorable pages of Cuban baseball in recent decades.
Guided by Coach José Luis Rodríguez Pantoja, Los Piratas showed endless combativeness to keep out of the playoffs two giants as Pinar del Río and Industriales, and then they appealed to their warrior lineage in the semifinals to defeat Matanzas, leader of the regular season.
The distinguished veteran Michel Enriquez, one of the survivors of that generation of outstanding players who finished third in the 1998-1999 season, said the emotions lived in the final game against Ciego de Ávila is almost comparable to having conquered the title of champion.
In turn, the experienced first baseman Luis Felipe Rivera praised the fighting spirit of the new generation of players, alongside the decisive contribution of athletes from other provinces who proudly defended the uniform of Isla de la Juventud.
After many obstacles we reached the championship finals and we realized we had chances of winning the title, but Ciego de Avila played better and deserved the victory, Rivera said.
Though we could not win the title, we will celebrate in style this silver medal which is our best result and commits us to continue in active sport and achieve a good result in the next season, he added.
With the absence in play-offs of the called Big Four of Cuban baseball -Pinar del Río, Industriales, Santiago de Cuba and Villa Clara, many predicted an unattractive baseball post season.
However, Los Piratas stole the limelight and managed to save the show by becoming a very tough rival of the Tigres that had to use their fullest potential to return to the throne of Cuban baseball tournament.
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Commonwealth Games medalists Sam Maxwell and Sean McGoldrick head the British Lionhearts team for this week's WSB contest with Cuba Domadores.
Light welterweight Samuel Vincent James MAXWELL has won four of five bouts and takes on unbeaten rival and London 2012 bronze medalist Yasnier Toledo Lopez, at the Copper Box on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Bantamweight (56Kg) Sean Thomas MCGOLDRICK has also lost only one in five WSB fights but takes on another unbeaten opponent, Andy Cruz Gomez.
Light flyweight (46-49Kg) Joe Maphosa makes his WSB debut fighting Cuban contender Joahnys Oscar ARGILAGOS PEREZ.
Middleweight (75Kg) Arlen LOPEZ CARDONA seeks to repeat his previous performance against Troy Williamson.
Ranked number one in the Heavyweight (91 kg) division and WSB Season IV Boxer of the Year Erislandy SAVON COTILLA will cross punches with Jitaru IONUT-MIREL.