22/06/2021 - 26/06/2021

#Baseball #RoadtoTokyo  

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Baseball Final Qualifier - Official Payoff

Dominican Republic's Hector Borg: 'We made history, we're going to the Olympics for the second time in our country’s history'

Dominican Republic's Hector Borg: 'We made history, we're going to the Olympics for the second time in our country’s history'
“I’m very happy. I know the Dominican Republic will be celebrating," Dominican Republic manager Hector Borg said during the post-game press conference of the final.

The Dominican Republic earned the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with an 8-5 win on Saturday in Puebla, and completed the six-team lineup for the Olympic Games baseball competition, joining Israel, Japan, Korea, México and USA.

"I want to thank God for the opportunity He gave us as a team,” said the Dominican Manager Hector Borg to open the press conference after the final. “We made history, we're going to the Olympics for the second time in our country’s history."

Borg expressed his gratitude with all the institutions that supported the team: “The leadership, the players, the staff in the clubhouse and everyone who did his part. Thank you... I’m very happy. I know Dominican Republic will be celebrating."

Asked about the process since he took the managing position, Borg had only one thing in mind. "The goal was always to qualify for the Olympic Games...we were focused on this and we hadn't any distraction. I assumed as a manager for this, to give everything I have with a lot humbleness, to represent my country and thank God today Dominican Republic will have its flag in the Olympic baseball competition."

Borg has managed in many teams, and in different countries and leagues. But this is different for him. “This is a beautiful experience, and I would like to finish the job in Tokyo. Because this was only the first step."

Luis Castillo was a key part in the Dominican bullpen this week. He pitched 2.2 innings on Saturday, giving up 2 hits and 1 run, and finished the tournament with a 1.93 ERA. "To represent my country is a dream for me.” 

Castillo described the mood of the clubhouse after the game. "You could see the happiness, I saw people crying of happiness. I'm very happy, because when I came in our goal was winning the championship. We only talked about winning it all and qualifying for the Olympics."

“It feels really good. As a kid you dream of this, and luckily, now it's a reality,” he finished.

Press conference quotes

Hector Borg

  • "I cannot say too much about the preparation during the next weeks. We will have some conversations next week to talk about all these things, but we will have a training camp in Miami, and then from there we will go to Japan. But I still don't have the details."
  • "We haven't had any conversation with any other player. Our focus was 100% in winning today's game, and we didn't want any distraction. From now, we will be talking with various players and creating a plan."
  • "We had a positive vibe as a team since the beginning. And also the additions we made after the Americas Qualifier. I give a lot of credit to our operations team, and I think it made a difference. But honestly, we kept the momentum with all the good things we did in Florida, and thank God we could execute here, and we're making history, for the second time in the Olympics."
  • "I'm willing to continue with the team in Tokyo. Each round we play we have to renew the permissions. But I'm 100% in to represent my country.”  

Luis Castillo

  • "I'm very happy with my team (Arizona Diamondbacks) and the manager who got in touch with the organisation. I was available since the first moment, I was willing to play for the national team. I had a busy week last week, I came here a bit tired, but I was always willing to play with the team. And thank God we could accomplish our goal."

Venezuela Manager Jose Alguacil

  • “It’s a difficult moment for us. A lot of emotions in the team right now. Our goal was to be in Tokyo. It was not easy to be here for us. We had to struggle, to go through many obstacles. But I can tell you I’m proud of all my players. They gave everything, and very proud to represent my country.”
  • “When we came here we knew we had some limitations. We didn’t have a starter for the most important game of the tournament. Maybe there are some questions about why we removed (Yapson) Gomez… It’s not an excuse, we all knew our limitations. We tried to put the best team on the field, to make the best decisions, and we had our chances. We had the bases loaded to add some runs, but we couldn’t take advantage.”
  • “I’m still very proud for what we did here, we made so many positive steps as a national team, and I think something new has born in our team, to keep competing, keep getting wins for our country.”
  • “Our plan was to have Gomez for two innings. After that, we went hitter by hitter. We [didn't have a deep] team, the injury of Diaz put us in a difficult situation. We were lucky we had a day off in the middle before the game against the Netherlands to be here. We cannot force a player and risk an injury for him."