The Rizal Memorial Baseball Coliseum will once again play host to a visiting team from Hong Kong on May 1-2.
Fresh from several training games in Guam, the Hong Kong national batters will travel to Manila to test their mettle against arguably the best amateur teams in the country today.
Organized by the Hong Kong Baseball Association (HKBA) in cooperation with the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA), the visiting team will have three games during their two-day visit.
PABA secretary-general and former Baseball Philippines (BP) commissioner, Joaquin “Chito” Loyzaga invited newly crowned University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) champion and first runner-up, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of Sto. Tomas (UST) respectively, and last year’s champion De La Salle University (DLSU) to play against Hong Kong. “This is a good opportunity for our young baseball players to challenge themselves against an equally young national team of Hong Kong,”said Loyzaga.
Hong Kong Team Manager TomaIrokawa, a Japanese national, is preparing his team for the 13th National Games to be held in Wuxi, China on May 10-18.
Irokawa is not unfamiliar to international baseball level of play as he also managed the Pakistan baseball team a few years back.
Irokawa will be ably supported by two coaches Au Hok Leung and Chan TszYeung as they prepare to do battle against the tough batters of the UAAP.
Ateneo had beaten this team once but that was last year when the Hong Kong team was still being formed.
UST was a surprise runner-up in this year’s tournament, edging the favored DLSU nine to challenge ADMU in the championship.
DLSU, experts said was simply the recipient of bad breaks during last year’s tournament. They are however a strong group buoyed by their formidable bullpen.
The first game is scheduled at 2 pm on May 1 featuring with the Hong Kong squad taking on Ateneo. It will then play a double header on May 2, 8:30 am against the Green Batters of La Salle and against the Tigers of UST at 2 pm. Admission is free.