Loyzaga fights to sell poor baseball
Many fans were happily surprised upon reading reports from Taiwan earlier in the week about a Philippine national baseball team competing in the 29th Asian Baseball Championship.
It came as a big surprise that the Philippines was able to assemble a national baseball team. Baseball has long been considered by many as a dead sport in the country.
Of course, that national team readily merited attention after it scored back-to-back wins for a strong 2-0 start in the Asian tournament.
Yesterday, it was however reported that the Philippines failed to advance to the Super Round (due to an inferior quotient) where the two top finishers will dispute the title on Sunday.
Said the dispatch: “After zooming to a 2-0 start, the Philippines lost a 12-2 decision to Korea and fell to a triple tie with China and Korea … The Philippines upset China 1-0 and China beat Korea 4-3 to create a three-team logjam.”
The Baseball Federation of Asia applied the team quality balance system, thus relegating the Philippines to the consolation pool. Hoping to finish fifth at best, the Philippines was slated to play Hong Kong last night and Sri Lanka today.
Chito Loyzaga, son of national basketball legend Carlos Loyzaga and a former superstar in the PBA, said they never dreamed of winning the Asian championship.
“Now, we’re hoping to clobber Hong Kong and Sri Lanka to improve our world standing,” said Loyzaga, president of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (Paba).
Loyzaga explained that the first priority was to compete properly in the Taiwan Asian championship.
He said he was sure the Philippines was able to send a strong message that the country is back in Asian baseball.
He added the Asian stint should also serve as a perfect training for the SEA Games in December.
There was no baseball competition in the last three Southeast Asian Games.
Meanwhile, Loyzaga said he expects no less than the gold for the Philippines in the SEA Games baseball championship, which will be played in the New Clark City.
It goes without saying Loyzaga would next push hard and pursue to bring Philippine baseball, which used to be an Asian power, strongly back on its feet.
He said it would’ve been impossible for baseball to get back on the right track without the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“PSC has been extremely supportive,” Loyzaga said. “Hats off for the all-out support.”
Big problem: “Paba has no one from the private sector to turn to in order to bring baseball here to the next level.
Loyzaga sounded and appeared ready to beg on his knees.