Cuba and The Netherlands will compete for Gold in the IBAF World Cup. The final of the 39th World Championship is scheduled for Saturday October 15th at 5 pm local time in Panama City, 10 pm CET.
The Netherlands are considered by someone the great surprise of the tournament, but actually represent a team that has finished fourth in 2005 and 2007 and has played the last 2 finals of the Intercontinental Cup. Young prospects like Mariekson Gregorius, Kalian Sams and Jonathan Schoop joined the veterans and the mix happened to be succesful.
The Netherlands actually gave Cuba their first loss of the tournament, winning 4-1 (on a couple of 2 run homers by veteran Engelhardt and next generation star Kalian Sams) the match up scheduled on Thursday 10/13.
Cuba then made it to the final outpowering Canada, the only team in the tournament that has beaten The Netherlands.
The Maple Leafs will try to confirm the bronze medal they earned in Italy in 2009 in the third place game against Team USA.
It can be debated if The Netherlands are a surprise, but everybody agrees on the fact that Team USA was the big disappointment of the tournament. The defending champions earned the right to play in the second round only in the last game of their round robin and after an unpredictable loss of Puertorico against Chinese Taipei had kept them alive. They also earned the right to compete for the bronze medal on a late rally against Venezuela, who hasn't won a game in the second round.
Rain has affected a lot the second round, forcing the organizers to cancel all of the games on Wednesday 10/12 and play 7 inning double headers to respect the agreed timeline of the World Cup.