12 under PABA Philippine National Team

Right now, I am in Chengdu China as part of the Coaching staff of the 12 year old and under Philippine National team. Tomorrow, we face Korea as this tournament sanctioned by the Baseball Federation of Asia goes underway.

To say that building this team is challenging is an understatement. Baseball is not a priority sport thus one can just imagine what kind of motivation one must have to be able to send a competitive team of young boys to represent our country. Our perfornance here will have a bearing on the country’s world ranking in the sport.

I am writing this in my room and wondering about what 14 boys chosen for this task are feeling right now. These boys may not be the best young baseball players we have but given the circumstances, destiny has called upon them.

The coaching staff composed of head coach and national team player Coach Chris Canlas and myself have strived to prepare them physically, emotionally and mentally. We have focused our efforts on molding them to become a strong team, urging each one to trust each other, know each other’s strengths and accept each other’s witnesses. Their skill levels are intact and advanced for their age. We don’t expect anyone to try out for the team if he did not know how to catch and hit a baseball. Our job is to leverage on what they have and bring out the best from each one.

The reality is that tomorrow, when we do face our first test, it will be the boys out on the diamond who will be fighting for flag and country. Though no one else aside from their family, close friends know what they are about to do tomorrow, they have prepared hard to represent well.

Right now, although I hear them fooling around running around from room to room seemingly oblivious of the game tomorrow, I know deep in their hearts they know what the opportunity represents. Just being part of this team and getting to China has been a remarkable journey for each of them. I pray that they get blessed with a deserving win.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!