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  • 11 / 25 / 2006

Fresh off their latest triumph in the 16th Intercontinental Baseball Cuba in Chinese Taipei, the Cuban National Baseball Team was welcomed home by the islands top sports authorities.

Jose Ramon Fernandez, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, and Christian Jimenez, head of the National Sports Institute (INDER), congratulated the team for their first place performance.

In statements to Prensa Latina, manager Rey Vicente Anglada said the tournament had been tough despite the absence of some good teams. He said the teams goal of repeating as the champs was accomplished.

Anglada praised the collective work of the team, their preparation for the tournament and their determination to win the title.

Pitcher Frank Montieth, one of the stars of the 6-3 win in the finals, said unlike his usual role as a starter he took advantage of the opportunity to come in as a reliever in a close game.

"I felt sure of myself and everything worked out," said Montieth.

Pedro Luis Lazo, who got the final five outs and the win in the 11-inning finale against Holland, noted that all the teams give their best against Cuba. He said he was surprised by the high level of baseball played by some sides like the Dutch squad.

Asked whether he would pitch as a reliever as he does for the national team in the upcoming Cuban Baseball League the veteran said he likes that role but would return as a starter for his Pinar del Rio team.

Outfielder Yoandry Urgelles, who had the game winning 3-run triple against Holland, dedicated the win to the Cuban people and especially those in the capital Havana. He said he would always do his best to defend his country.

The 16-team Cuban Baseball League is scheduled to begin its 46th season on December 3 with a game between defending champions Industriales, from Havana, and Santiago de Cuba.

Source: Granma

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