THE Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (Paba) will hold tryouts this weekend to start the process of forming the national team bound for the 28th Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) Asian Baseball Championship in September.
PABA secretary general Chito Loyzaga said the first tryouts will be on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“We needed to already put ourselves together in preparation for the Asian Baseball Championship,” said Loyzaga.
Loyzaga is looking to have a pool of 34 players, preferably a mix of young players and veterans.
The Paba secretary general stressed the need to have young players as the Asian Baseball Championship will also serve as a qualifier for the 2018 WBSC Under-23 Championship.
“We will still put together a young team, give them proper exposure, pero kukunin pa rin natin ‘yung mga pinakamagagaling na puwede nating ilagay para maganda ang performance natin. At the end of the day, pag dumating na ‘yung Under-23, ‘yung mga over-23, puwede nating palitan para ipasok ‘yung Under-23 (for the WBSC Under-23 Championship),” said Loyzaga.
Loyzaga said Paba tapped four coaches from the top four teams in the UAAP to handle the tryouts: Randy Dizer of UAAP champion Ateneo, Jeffrey Santiago of University of Santo Tomas, Joseph Orillana of La Salle, and Orlando Binarao of Adamson.
“Sila ang may kilala sa mga players. Kunin natin ‘yung stats nila tapos ‘yun ang basehan natin, pero mag-try out pa rin tayo, and we will have everybody come here so that we can prepare already,” said Loyzaga.
Loyzaga said Paba is looking at a 30- to 45-day period to form the pool.
Even after the pool is formed, Loyzaga said they will have regular open tryouts for potential players particularly Fil-foreigners who want to join the pool.