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Pacman-backed Sarangani, ILLAM vie in AsPac baseball

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Jolly Gomez

MANILA, Philippines - ILLAM seeks to send another team to the World Series while Sarangani aims to make a mark internationally like its supporter boxing icon and Sen. Manny Pacquiao as they vie in the 2016 Asia-Pacific Intermediate and Senior League Baseball Tournament on July 11-17 at The Villages in Clark.

The ILLAM batters gun for the Senior League Baseball crown against titlist CNMI, Australia, Guam and Indonesia in a spirited effort to follow in the footsteps of their world series-bound counterparts in the Little League Softball and Junior League Softball divisions.

For their part, Pacquiao’s Sarangani boys hope to achieve a Cinderella finish against defending champion Korea, powerhouse Japan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia as they debut in the Intermediate play of the event supported by Mister Donut and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Sarangani, the first squad from Mindanao to compete in the AsPac after a long while, has made Clark its training base since end of June while ILLAM moved in yesterday as they stepped up on their preparations.

Meanwhile, the foreign participants start arriving today.

The Intermediate teams of Korea and Hong Kong are scheduled to arrive at Clark International Airport today while the Senior squads of Australia and Guam are penciled to deplane over at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

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The delegations from Indonesia, CNMI and Japan are for arrival on Sunday.

Action blasts off Monday following the 8 a.m. opening ceremonies and parade of teams.

Organizers expect 400 players, coaches, and team supporters from the eight participating countries to come over for the tourney, including Guam Mayor Paul McDonald and the various district administrators led by Jolly Gomez of host Philippines.

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