Japanese teams in Davao Baseball Cup-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
TOKYO, Japan--Two Japanese teams from the Chiba Prefecture will join the 8th Davao Baseball Cup slated March 24 and 25, 2013 at the University of Mindanao (UM) Matina grounds.
Datu Uchida Development Foundation, Inc. (DUDFI) sports director Yusuke Uchida bared this in a dinner meeting with DUDFI officer-in-charge Ines Mallari, also president of the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, at Shantin Italian Restaurant on Saturday night at Chofu City here.
"The Matsudo Chuo Angels and Matsuo Chuo Boys will go to Davao and play in exhibition matches with the elementary and secondary division champions, respectively, of the annual baseball tournament," Uchida said in Nihonggo.
He said the presence of Japanese teams will further spice up the event that has been giving good exposure for Davao City's public school squads, especially those seeing action in higher-level competitions like the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet.
"The coach Atsushi Matsuzaki-managed Japanese players will be there to give inspiration to Dabawenyo players and at the same time entertain Davao fans with great exhibition matches," Uchida added.
Mallari, for her part, welcomed the new development saying that it will be a generous effort from DUDFI and its sponsors to bring 15 elementary players and 20 secondary players from Japan.
She said, "We are very excited for this. Davao teams will have something to look forward to. Each champion team will not only win the top cash prizes and trophies at stake but they will also get the chance to play with Japan teams."
Mallari also said that aside from the visiting squads, the annual baseball tournament has been moved from its regular February schedule to accommodate the availability of Japanese coaches who will hold training and clinic for coaches and players of participating teams and at the same time give more time for needed preparations.
Mallari added that they expect more teams to join in next year's edition.
"We have been receiving requests from other schools that they want to join our tournament. We will do our best to accommodate them," she said.
Last year, 13 elementary teams and five secondary teams showed their wares. Competition, however, is expected to be higher with new teams joining next year.
The annual event is the first of its kind since teams get transportation subsidy, free baseball equipment, free lunch for two days, free training from Japanese coaches and experts and other freebies.
Cash prizes and baseball equipment are also being given away for the top three teams.
Uchida and Mallari hosted this writer's week-long baseball study tour here.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 13, 2012.