THE Philippines will shoot for two birds with one stone when it hosts the Pony League Asia-Pacific regional qualifiers from July 14 to 17 at the Rizal Memorial baseball stadium.
The champion in the event reserved for 12-year-old players will earn the right to represent Asia in the Pony International Bronco World Series in Los Alamitos, California on Aug. 1 to 4.
Pony League Philippines chief Rodolfo 'Boy' Tingzon Jr. is keeping his fingers crossed that the Philippines will win the event and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1989.
“That’s why we need everybody’s support so we can prove that baseball is still alive in our country,” said Tingzon during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
He said it’s only the third time the country is hosting the event which will draw entries from Chinese-Taipei, Japan, Korea, Far East Russia, and Indonesia.
“The chance to host this event does not come often because everybody wants to play host,” said Tingzon, who will be at the helm of the team known as Philippine Habagat.
The Philippines is hoping to retain the Southeast Asian title in the event.
Also gracing the forum presented by Pagcor and Shakey’s, was Habagat team manager/head coach Mike Ochosa. The coaching staff also includes Colbi Hidalgo, Chris Canlas, Joseph Orillana, Alex Estipular, Owet Navasero, and Kevin Badrina.
The players are Theo Monk, Enzo Montemayor, Javi Limpo, Jom Santillan, Naoki Akita, Brando Yonzon, Wacky Lijauco, Arjay Aranzanso, Marvin Trillana, Basil Taylo, Kyle Catignas, and Stephen delos Santos.
“We have a very big chance here because we have pitchers and batters that are more reliable,” said Ochosa, adding the team has been training since September.
The Philippines will also field a team to the Pony Asia-Pacific 13-14 division tournament which will be held in South Korea next month.
The team is made up of Alex Tianco, Carlos Sandoval, Taeyoon Yoo, Miguel Ochosa, Enzo Amado, Vince Flores, Paya Ofilada, Jaz Monzones, Nicolas Lozano, Gab dela Cruz, Hawkins Hodges and Jimboy Romano.
The Philippine Habagat is supported by Paragon Consulting Inc., Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdog, Summit Water, 100 Plus Energy Drink, and The Fields at Nuvali.