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March 6, 2017

Frederich Cepeda

Alfredo Despaigne

Noelvis Entenza

Tokyo, Japan

Q. Tomorrow is the first game, how do you feel at this moment, and what do you think of the Japanese team?
FREDERICH CEPEDA: Tomorrow will be the first game of the WBC. We prepared, and we prepared in Taiwan and Korea. We didn't win as much games as we wanted, but we had very good preparation time so we can do our best tomorrow.

NOELVIS ENTENZA: The preparation we had was very good and of course we collected some good results. For example, the season was different and we are now well accustomed to the climate, and we played some games in Asia, and I in particular think that we performed well.

We are going to play against Japan tomorrow, and the team is very well prepared.

ALFREDO DESPAIGNE: Well, both of them said before me, but in Taiwan and in Korea and in Japan, we had some training games. The pre games were very good, but of course, there is the time difference, the climate difference, and the food is different.

But all of us, after we have some trips like this, we have games, we have problems, but we are able to solve the problems that we face, and the Cuba team is very well prepared. Tomorrow's game will be a very good game, I'm sure.

Q. Tomorrow's Japan pitcher will be Ishikawa, and you have played with him on the same team before. What kind of balls are dangerous?
ALFREDO DESPAIGNE: I heard he's going to be the pitcher tomorrow, and tomorrow, and of course today, too, everybody will have to study what kind of pitcher he is and what kind of balls he pitches. He is a very good pitcher I know.

Last year, he showed very good curveballs and sinkers, and he has very quality variety of good pitches. So we must be 100 percent aware that we know the kind of balls that he throws and prepares us for tomorrow.

Q. You are going to be the pitcher tomorrow. What image do you have of the Japanese batters?
NOELVIS ENTENZA: My opinion about the Japanese team is that they have very good batters, and some players, some of them are playing in the major league, so what I can do, when I throw balls against these kind of batters, I have to keep them low.

Q. About the Japanese team, you played in Japan before, and do you think the Japanese team is a difficult team to win?
ALFREDO DESPAIGNE: The Japanese team, they are strong, they are fast and they have very good pitchers. That is my opinion, but I would like to say that our team, of course, is Cuban. But when we go to championship tournaments like the WBC, we have players who are not used to playing out of Cuban.

But if we are 100 percent concentrated and if we perform our best on the pitch, we have some good possibilities to win, of course. So we need some adaptations to bat, but the Japanese team, of course, they also have some weak points.

So it's up to us to find these weak points and play against them. They have pitchers like Ishikawa, who is a wonderful pitcher and who can throw fastballs, but we are a team that we have quality enough to play against Japan, and win the game. It depends of how much effort we put on that.

Q. You definitely be the pitcher tomorrow against the Japanese team. How did you react when you knew you were going to be the pitcher?
NOELVIS ENTENZA: Well, one week before today, I knew I was going to be the pitcher for tomorrow, and I am just going to do the best I can. That's what I came and prepared for, so I'm going to throw the best pitches I can.

Q. In three WBCs you are elected, you have experience of three times before, so this is the fourth time. How much can you contribute to your team this time?
FREDERICH CEPEDA: Yes, being selected for the fourth time is something that I'm very proud of. But this is best, we have the present now, and the future, so at this moment, we have to concentrate for tomorrow's game. What I can do to help the team is do my best. Of course, particularly there is lots of things that I would like to do, that I have lots of ideas, but instead of me, myself, I have to contribute to the team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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