Mazzotti/Gonzalez pregame interview March 8

Q. Eric, I haven't had a chance to interview you, but what's your opinion, because you're the only Spaniard on the team, and most of the players are from other countries.

ERIC GONZALEZ:  Well, I consider myself lucky in this tournament.  It's true that I'm the only Spaniard born in Spain, but I'm very certain that I have 27 teammates, 28 teammates that I'm very proud of, and they are very proud of representing Spain in this tournament.

Q.  I know obviously you have your total focus on tonight's game, but we also have to look at the next game.  So I would like to know about the next games, Venezuela and Dominican Republic, and how you're getting ready for them.

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  Today we have Puerto Rico, and we're thinking about playing against Puerto Rico, and we'll see with Dominican Republic and Venezuela.  For now we are focused against Puerto Rico, and we cannot take away the focus of the games and start thinking about the next.  

But we know more or less how the plan will be, but we are waiting for this to finish, so we can start talking about the next.

Q.  Currently you guys are going to face a deep pool.  How do you feel in regards to this?  And if you have any formula for you guys to win against in this pool.

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  For now we were almost the last in qualifying.  First, it's an honor to play against people like Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and Venezuela.  Surely we would play against China and Australia without so much advertising and media.  We know we're going to play against the players that are the best in the world, with people who are surely going to be in the Hall of Fame when they retire.  So let's see about us.

I don't think we will have a super plan, but I think we can play ball and compete with those people, and in a nine‑inning game, anything can happen.

Q.  Having so many Venezuelans, so many Cuban players, how do you handle all those nationalities involved in the Spanish team?

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  Well, it's quite easy because the language in the clubhouse is only Spanish.  And I come from coaching from Italy where people spoke Italian, English, Spanish and it was a little bit more difficult.  In here it's a single language, and we speak the language of the game, which is quite universal.  We have people who for years have been with us and are used to our rules, our rhythm, and up until now we haven't had any problems.