Philippines gearing up for baseball glory

 

The Philppines was once a powerhouse in the sport of baseball. Other countries regarded Filipino ball players then as they regard Japanese players now.  Japan is now one of the most dominant countries in this field.  During the last decade, Japan won the 1st and 2nd World Baseball Classic Tournament and will be defending the crown this year.

The Philippines will be attempting to get back its lost glory as our national team players are in the thick of their preparation for this tournament.  They are going to be playing against Chinese-Taipei, New Zealand and Thailand in the first round of eliminations. The team is hoping to get past Chinese-Taipei to progress to the next round.

The World Baseball Classic is a tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation wherein all participants will have the golden opportunity to play against the best in the world.

The Philippine National Team ably coached by Colbi Hidalgo and Tata Empacis, are now practicing every morning from Monday to Friday to make sure that they are prepared for the battle ahead.

MLB, Tim Lincecum, Pacquiao, Philippine Habagat

Taking a break with Ace Pitcher Charlie Labrador

Anybody who knows the game of baseball believe that the Filipino’s body type, agility and athleticism are inherent advantages in this game. In fact, it is believed that the Japanese have patterned their training techniques to duplicate these characteristics to develop speed, good eye hand coordination and power. Clearly they leveraged on this learning and have called their now vaunted baseball skills their own.However, our team will be going to this tournament fresh from their being crowned South East Asian and East Asian Champions.  The national team will be travelling to Taipei with a lot of confidence.

I know practically half of this team as I have worked with them in various capacities. I have had the priviledge to coach the 12 and under National team with Chris Canlas, Colbi Hidalgo and Fongs Rances. Charlie Labrador coaches my son’s school team. I play slow pitch softball pick up games with some of them and having covered some Baseball Philippines games, I have an idea of how most of of these guys play. So, I do know, that we do not lack in talent.

MLB, Derek Jeter, Pacquiao

My good friend, school mate and team mate Joseph Orellana and I exchanging notes

 

However, what these guys truly bring into this endeavour is the heart and determination to win. A ballplayer who is not as strong willed as these gentlemen will not even want to be part of this team. Their resources are meager, equipment wanting and time is just not enough.

But what they also do know is that they have the  teamwork and the unquestionable commitment to win which should help in bringing  the championship home.

I have visited their practice session and will continue to do so in the next couple of weeks to show my support. I am hoping, that those who should be helping really step out and support this team. These men are sacrificing a huge part of their lives to represent us, a little show of support from all will go a long way.