HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 15 — Cuba plays Venezuela, its closest political and economic ally, in an opening night game on October 1, at the Pan American Qualifying baseball tournament to take place in Puerto Rico from October 1-12.
The Cubans are in Group B along with Canada, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentina, and Dutch Antilles.
Group A includes: Puerto Rico, USA, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Colombia, and Panama.
The first round will have each team playing its group rivals (6 games for Cuba).
Then the top four teams in each group will play each other (three games for each team) from October 9-11 to determine the final group standings.
On October 12 there will be semifinal games, with #1 from each group playing #4 from the other group, and with #2 from each group playing #3 from the other group.
Then on October 13 there will be a bronze medal game between the semifinal losers (probably afternoon) and a gold medal game (night) between the semifinal winners.
Four slots in the fall 2011 Baseball World Cup will also be on the line as well as the six for the Pan American Games next year in Guadalajara, Mexico.
To see the full first round schedule visit the BaseballdeCuba special Pan American Qualifying Tournament page.