DESPITE one division less, this year’s Little League Baseball Philippine Series edition remains bigger and better.
Around 60 teams in four divisions are estimated to participate in the April 4 to 12 meet to be held in Dumaguete City for the first time, according to LLBP District Administrator Jolly Gomez.
To be disputed in the tournament are the 12-and-under, 13-and-under, 14-and-under, and 16-and-under divisions. Left out this year is the 17-and-above class, where the country previously won in the World Series.
“Although doon tayo malakas (17-and-above), the thrust of the Little League now is the 16-and-under,” said Gomez in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel. “We’ve really grown through the years and one of the targets is the youth program of the league.”
Atty. Christine Cuisia-Remollo, representing husband, Dumaguete City Mayor Ping Remollo, and assistant country director Chito Gonzales joined Gomez in the public sports program presented by San Miguel Corp., Golden Phoenix Hotel, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Only three divisions will be played in Dumaguete as the 13-and-under division is going to be disputed in the Palarong Pambansa set in Antique.
Winner of the 12-13-under division will be competing in the Asia-Pacific meet set in Korea, the 14-15 under division champion earns berth in the regional meet in Saipan, while the 15-and-under will be going to Singapore.
Champions in the Asia-Pacific regions are bound to play in the World Series in the U.S.
Remollo, meanwhile, said a budget of P5 million has been allotted by the city of Dumaguete in conjunction with the private sector for the hosting of the week-long meet.
“In terms of financial support, we have private sectors coming in because it’s easy to have the Little League franchise,” said Remollo, who comes from a baseball family, adding one of his sons became part of the Philippine team that represented the country in the Asia-Pacifici regional meet in the past.
Known as a sports hub in the South, Remollo added the Philippine series is also about promoting the tourism aspect of the province.
Little League Phl district administrator Jolly Gomez (second from left) with (from left) LLP deputy district administrator Chito Gonzalez, DepEd Assistant Sec. Tonisito Umali, and Mister Donut assistant brand manager Jane Sace during yesterday’s signing ceremony to expand the baseball and softball grassroots program.
MANILA, Philippines – Little League Philippines has partnered with the Department of Education to further strengthen and expand its baseball and softball grassroots program and widen the talent pool for the country’s campaigns in the Asia-Pacific and World Series tournaments.
LL Philippines district administrator Jolly Gomez and DepEd Assistant Sec. Tonisito Umali announced the tie-up in a signing ceremony and turn-over of 100 new baseball bats yesterday at DepEd’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan.
According to Gomez, the agreement affiliates the Palarong Pambansa with the LL program, enabling them to reach out to the 200 divisions in the 18 regions under the DepEd and identify previously undiscovered players.
“Currently we have 48 active (members) and 60 registered LGUs, mostly from Luzon. With this tie-up, we’ll be able to bring the Little League program to (LGUs) all over the country. By doing this, we’ll be able to expand the program to 220 divisions, which will make it one of the largest baseball and softball programs in the country,” said Gomez, who signed the MOA with Sec. Armin Luistro.
“We’re very excited with this because nearly all participants in Little League come from Luzon and Southern Tagalog, with a few from the South. I feel there are many strong players just waiting to be discovered in the Visayas and this tie-up with DepEd, which is a fantastic partner, will help us discover these champions,” he added.
LL Phl will provide training materials and train coaches and PE teachers to help them mold elementary and high school baseball and softball kids.
“Even without this MOA signed, our kids excelled in international competitions before. With the signing of this MOA, we hope our performance when we join competitions outside the country will be further enhanced,” said Umali.
With the pact sealed, LL will make the Palaro an elimination tournament for the Asia-Pacific Series, offering slots in select divisions.
“This year, the Palaro winner will be the representative in (the AsPac) intermediate baseball (competition); by next year, we’ll have Little League Softball, and the year after, Big League Softball because by that time, the K-12 program will be fully implemented,” said Gomez.
Also present during the signing rites were LL Phl deputy district administrator Chito Gonzalez and Jane Sace, assistant brand manager of Mister Donut, which also recently renewed its partnership with the Little League organization.
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.
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.