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    Thu, Jul 19

    Homegrown batters given Classic opportunity

    Nov 1, 2012

    THE Philippine Amateur Baseball Association will determine by next week the locally-based players who will make it to the national team bound for World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

    Paba secretary general Thomas Navasero said they were supposed to announce the lineup on Wednesday but several players of the national team were on vacation due to the long holiday.

    Paba will bring in 14 local players from the team which won the gold in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers set November 15 to 18 in New Taipei City.

    The team will be beefed up by 14 Fil-foreigners, mostly from the major and minor leagues in the US.

    Any player with Filipino lineage, regardless of whether he holds a Philippine passport or not, are eligible to play for the team in the World Baseball Classic, with Major League Baseball even spending for all the expenses including stipend and insurance.

    As a result, several top-notch major leaguers are eligible to play for the Philippines, including two-time World Series champion Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees reliever Clay Rapada.

    Paba is still awaiting word on Lincecum's availability for the national team. Rapada has already begged off from playing in the qualifiers.

    Among the players expected to suit up for the Philippines is ex-San Francisco Giant Gino Espineli, Fil-Japanese pitcher Ryuya Ogawa, and Leighton Michael Pangilinan of the Chicago White Sox minor league system.

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