Aussies reign over Spain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies reign over Spain

13/03/2008 11:03:31 PM Comments (0)

The Australian baseball team still holds out some hope of qualifying for Beijing after an impressive 9-0 rout over Spain in the qualifying tournament in Taiwan.

Australia move to a 3-3 record but must have other results go their way for the defending Olympic silver medallists to qualify for the Games.

Only the top three teams qualify and Australia are currently fourth.

They must rely on Canada losing their remaining two matches against Korea and Germany and then the Australians must beat South Africa.

Earlier, national coach Jon Deeble slammed the international baseball federation and accused rival countries of conspiring to ensure reigning Olympic silver medallists Australia didn't qualify for Beijing.

The Australians are competing at an eight-team tournament in Taiwan where they need to finish in the top three to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.

Deeble pointed to a number of reasons for the disappointing display, including the schedule, training venues and player availability.

"The Koreans went out of their way to make sure we never got our two best players, which are Chris Oxspring and Brett Thomas," Deeble told AAP from Taiwan.

"They wouldn't allow them to play for us because they didn't want us to beat them. Their (Korean) clubs wouldn't release them.

"We've got guys in Japan we couldn't get released.

"But it's not about this bunch of kids. It's about the world baseball federation having this tournament at this time. It's a joke."

Deeble said 32 of Australia's best players were unavailable for the tournament, including 14 currently training with US Major League clubs.

"The Asians pushed to have it at this time of year to put us and Canada at a disadvantage," he said.

"Canada have got the depth to be able to replace 30 players. At this point we probably just don't and that's no disrespect to the players we have out here.

"But we're sending 17-year-olds out against former Major League players. It's a big ask."

Deeble feels things haven't gone smoothly right from the outset.

"They've gone out of their way here to make sure we don't qualify," he said of the event organisers.

"There's two fields here. One is 10 minutes from the hotel, the other is an hour and 20 minutes away in a bus.

"We've been scheduled there eight out of the ten days. Even our training sessions have been scheduled out there.

"They've allowed the Taiwanese to set the schedule up.

"I don't want to make excuses but it's been a very difficult process."

Deeble re-iterated that player availability was an enormous issue.

"We just don't have access to the players," he said.

"If the Brisbane Lions had 32 players out would they be competitive in the league? If the Sydney Kings had the equivalent out, would they be playing in the final?"

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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