The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association is looking at a very hectic schedule this year, including a string of international tournaments that were affected or derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boy Tingzon, PABA vice president, told the online version of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday they’re gearing up for the Women’s Baseball World Cup scheduled March 1 to 9 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Barring any further delay or postponement, the Philippine under-23 team is hoping to figure well in the prestigious event and improve on its world ranking of No. 15.
“This is the best time for us to move up in the standings in the world. We can even break into the top 10,” said Tingzon, who was joined in the forum by PABA secretary-general Pepe Munoz.
Tingzon said PABA is waiting for the go-signal from the Philippine Sports Commission for the team to plunge into bubble training in Laguna – either in Los Banos or Calamba.
He said the players are committed to do bubble training until they leave for Mexico to face powerhouse teams like Japan and Chinese-Taipei, and Canada, Mexico, United States, France, Australia, Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.
“This is a world event,” added Tingzon in the webcast presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Munoz said PABA is also ready to field teams to the men’s Asian Baseball Championship in October and the men’s youth 12-under, 15-under and 18-under tournaments. The 12-under and 18-under events were originally scheduled in 2020 but were moved due to the deadly pandemic.
“Now, they (international federation) are slating everything this year. But it will still depend on the progress of the vaccine. Unfortunately, there is no baseball in this year’s SEA Games. But even without the SEA Games we’re going to be quite busy,” Munoz told the forum powered by SMART and has Upstream as webcast partner.
“But our primary concern is the women’s team to the World Cup,” added Munoz of the team that includes players who are jumping from softball to baseball.
“They don’t have enough (baseball) experience but if they perform well, we can be a contender. We’re happy that we’re in the World Cup. Korea, which is number seven (world) and Hong Kong, at number 10, will not be playing,” he said.
But there are worries that some participating countries won’t show up in coming World Cup. Peter Atencio
“If it pushes through this March, some countries may not be able to send teams,” said Munoz.
Concerns on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has kept organizers from finalizing their schedule of matches.
Organizers met Monday on the status of the World Cup, but they have yet to release a schedule of games.
The national women’s team, which bagged a historic bronze medal in the 2019 Baseball Federation of Asia Women’s Cup held at the Panda Stadium in Guangdong, China, will also prepare for the Asian Cup in Nov.