02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019

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II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

Premier12 group C managers: "We need more international baseball"

Premier12 group C managers: "We need more international baseball"
The event held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Korea, was introduced by WBSC Executive Director Michael Schmidt. Kim Kyungmoon, Miguel Borroto, David Nilsso, Ernie Whitt spoke in front of a house full of media

WBSC Executive Director Michael Schmidt opened the pre-tournament press conference of Group C of the Premier12 2019 in front of a crowded room at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Korea.

Schmidt thanked the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), the local organizers, and ended his introduction with these words: "Korea is the defending champion of the Premier12 and of the Olympics. The road to defend these titles begins tomorrow. But it won't be easy. Australia, Canada and Cuba are here with the same goal."

Australia, Canada and Cuba agree that Korea is the team to beat.

"It's great to be here to play against the defending champions," said Australia's manager David Nilsson. "I wouldn't want it any other way. What would it take to beat Korea? Scoring one more run…"

"If you want to move on to the Olympics you need to play the best and be the best," commented Canada's veteran manager Ernie Whitt.

"Korea is Korea," added Miguel Borroto, Cuba's manager. "Korean baseball is second to no one in the world."

Korea's manager Kim Kyungmoon admitted: "We have played a lot of international baseball and I don't think any other National Team can match us as far as teamwork."

The preparation of the four National Teams has followed different paths.

Cuba is in the middle of the National season.

"After 60 games we picked 32 players, then we trimmed the roster to 28. We have a young team, but we play baseball with a lot of discipline. We are ready to play, we want to qualify for Tokyo 2020," commented Cuba's Miguel Borroto.

"As soon as our players got their release, we got together," added Korea's Kim Kyungmoon

"I believe we are ready to play."

David Nilsson said that the preparation for Australia began in February: "We did a lot of tests, then players moved on to their seasons. We prepared in Japan and Chinese Taipei and I believe we are ready to go."

Ernie Whitt got Canada together at the end of the season: "We didn't have much time, but we had a good ten days of practice and games, so we are ready to play."

Each manager also answered about the strengths of the respective teams.

"Cuba is strong on fundamentals," said Miguel Borroto. We have a balanced team and we are confident our baseball is going to be fast."

Kim Kyungmoon emphasized that helping each other is a must for his players: "As I said before, teamwork is our strength."

"I built Australia choosing a group with a lot of international experience," added David Nilsson. "I would say that solid pitching is our strength."

"Canada also relies on pitching and defense," said Ernie Whitt "We are proud of the team that will represent our great Country."

The four managers all agreed on the importance of international baseball.

"We also need to work at the grass-root level," said Miguel Borroto. "I think that WBSC is doing a great job in displaying such a high profile event in countries where the game is important and to the rest of the world via television."

"We need to do anything we can to get the game on the world stage," commented David Nilsson.

"International competition is the only way to gain popularity," added Kim Kyungmoon.

"I agree," said Ernie Whitt on a final note, "We should try to level the field of play, having professional players compete against professional players."

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