DESPITE missing the last three editions in 2010, 2014 and 2018, the Philippine baseball team is looking to perform well in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China starting next week.
Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) secretary-general Pepe Munoz believes the Filipinos have a very good chance of doing well despite being bracketed against world No. 1 Japan, world No. 23 and host China and either Singapore or Thailand.
“We’re looking forward to it. We deserve to be in the Asian Games,” said Munoz during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Ceruz, Manila last Tuesday.
“The Asian Games is very important because it has a very big impact on our world ranking. And we get the chance to compete and show who we are,” added Munoz, who was accompanied by national team members Adrian Bernardo and Jenald Pareja.
“It’s hard to beat Japan, but maybe we can find a way. I believe we’re at the same level with China. We beat China, 1-0, in 2019 . So, we will do our best. We will be there to win,” said Munoz in the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the super round. That’s why it’s very important to beat China.”
In the other group are Asian Games champion and world No. 4 South Korea, world No. 5 Chinese-Taipei, world No. 45 Hong Kong and a fourth qualifier.
The Filipinos, who are currently ranked No. 36 in the world, are buoyed by their successful title campaign in the last BFA East Asian Baseball Cup and their gold-medal performance in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.
Isaac Bacarisas and Orlando Binarao will lead the coaching staff.
The baseball competitions in the Asian Games is scheduled from Sept. 27-Oct. 7.