JAKARTA, INDONESIA?The Philippines is capable of winning at least six of the eight titles in the 2010 Asia Pacific Little League Softball and Baseball Championships firing off Saturday at the Senayan ballpark here.
This was the prediction of Little League Philippines assistant district administrator Chito Gonzales, who noted that, while the Philippines has proven to be the benchmark of youth softball in the region, the country is also fast catching up with the powerhouse countries in baseball.
Gonzales sees the country sweeping all four titles in softball and clinching two more in baseball.
?Our baseball programs have improved,? Gonzales said. ?And our softball teams have proven their worth throughout the years.?
The As-Pac tournament serves as a qualifier for the World Series tournaments in the United States in August.
Teams from the International Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM) will represent the country in the centerpiece boys? Little League 11-12 division for baseball and the Big League 16-18 tournament.
Muntinlupa, a Little League charter that made its Philippine Series debut in 2006, will campaign in the Junior League (13-14) and the Senior League (14-16) divisions.
The Filipinos are defending champions in the Senior League division, where they were represented by ILLAM last year. The ILLAM players from last year?s squad have moved up to the Big League division.
The ILLAM boys? 11-12 squad, which will see action in Surabaya province, was actually handed a relatively easy group that includes Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The powerhouse squads like defending champion Chinese-Taipei, Guam, Saipan and Korea are bunched in Group A.
Bacolod City, which was shut out of titles in last year?s Philippine Series, seeks a grand return in softball, where it will have teams in three divisions?Major League (11-12), Junior League (13-14) and Senior League (14-16).
Team Manila, powered by players from Adamson University, will banner the country?s bid in the Big League (16-18) division.
Except for the 11-12 division won by Guam last year, the Philippines will shoot for repeat wins in the three other divisions.