Pinoy batters named to Asian All-Stars
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Two Filipino batters were named to the 10-man mythical first team at the end of the recent Asian Baseball Championships in Taichung, Taiwan, a testament to the recognition the Philippines earned in the eight-nation tournament won by the home squad.

The Philippines finished with a 4-1 record and took fifth place. The only loss was a 12-2 decision to Korea in the preliminaries. The Philippines brought down Pakistan, 11-0, China, 1-0, Hong Kong, 10-0 and Sri Lanka, 7-1. The Philippines was tied with China and Korea for first place in Group B at the end of the preliminaries but failed to qualify for the Super Round or Final Four because of an inferior quotient.

Chinese-Taipei crushed Hong Kong, 17-2, and lost to Japan, 2-0, in the preliminaries then walloped Korea, 7-1, and China, 10-2, in the Super Round to arrange a rematch with Japan in the final. Chinese-Taipei nipped Japan, 5-4, for the gold medal. China upset Korea, 8-6, to capture the bronze medal. The top three finishers – Chinese-Taipei, Japan and China – will represent Asia in the next U23 World Cup in Mexico. The teams will adjust their lineups to conform to the age requirement since the Asian Championships, like the coming Southeast Asian Games – are an open competition with no age limit. Chinese-Taipei and China also earned tickets to the six-team Olympic Final Qualifying Tournament in March or April next year. 

The Philippines is ranked No. 33 in the World Baseball Federation standings but in Taichung, defeated three countries that are ahead in the honor roll – No. 20 China, No. 24 Pakistan and No. 28 Hong Kong.

The two Filipino All-Stars are first baseman Diego Lozano and second baseman Jennald Pareja. Lozano, 22, is a product of the International Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM) and La Salle while Pareja, 29, came from ILLAM and Adamson, now playing for Air Force. Lozano finished with seven runs, eight hits, six RBIs, a double, two triples and a homer. Pareja had six runs, 10 hits, five RBIs, three doubles and two triples. Lozano scored the only run against China and cracked a four-bagger against Korea. 

Of the 10 players in the mythical team, three were from Chinese-Taipei, two from Japan and the Philippines and one each from Korea, China and Hong Kong. 

Another Filipino batter who was cited by the Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) was Edwin Bosito, 23. He’s from Los Baños and a protégé of Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) Board of Trustees member Ely Baradas. Bosito went to Adamson and now plays for the Katayama Baseball Academy of volunteer national coach Keiji Katayama. Bosito took the individual award for most stolen bases with five, two each against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and one against Hong Kong. He was applauded for a super catch at center field during the Sri Lanka contest.

PABA president Chito Loyzaga said China never expected to lose to the Philippines. “I believe China has a very good pitcher whom they only used during their two games against Korea,” he said. “They didn’t expect the Philippines to play well in the eliminations.” China shocked world No. 3 Korea, 5-4, in the preliminaries then won again, 8-6, in the playoff for third. Both China and Korea were winless in the Super Round. China bowed to Japan, 11-1 and Chinese-Taipei, 10-2. Korea was trounced by Chinese Taipei, 7-1 and Japan, 11-3.

Loyzaga said aside from focusing on the coming SEA Games, PABA is busy preparing the first-ever national women’s team that will participate in the BFA Asian Championships in China next month. PABA Board of Trustees member Boy Tingzon is in charge of the women’s program.

Loyzaga said the Philippines’ showing in Taichung “wasn’t bad at all” and the performance raised hopes of a strong finish in the SEA Games. “We expect no less than gold at the SEA Games,” he said. Only one gold medal will be at stake in baseball in this year’s SEA Games.

 

ASIAN ALL-STARS
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