Bigger Davao Baseball Cup in 2015

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Friday, March 21, 2014


ON ITS 10th anniversary, the annual Davao Baseball Cup will be a bigger and grander edition in 2015, organizers said.

Datu Uchida Development Foundation, Inc. (DUDFI) officer-in-charge Ines P. Mallari said, "We are eyeing to host 25 teams from all over Davao Region next year. It will be a very special celebration for the 10th year of the tournament."

Mallari, president of Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, also said that since two new teams from Davao del Sur and one from Davao del Norte are entered in this year's competition, they may also consider changing the tournament name should other teams from outside Davao Region be interested to join in 2015.

"We are very delighted by the participation of out-of-town schools this year. We welcome others to join even from other parts of Mindanao in our future tournaments. Who knows we may soon have a Mindanao Baseball Cup," Mallari said during Thursday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the NCCC Mall Davao Bowling, Billiards and Bar (B3) Center lanes.

Exposure

Every year, DUDFI and the Davao City Baseball Association with major sponsor Tokyo Kichijoji Lions Club organize a two-day event for elementary and High School baseball teams that are mostly from public schools. Teams from event partner Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School are the only ones participating from a private school.

The baseball meet caters to the need of providing a venue for the city's elementary and secondary teams to compete since no other tournament is being organized for them aside from the Department of Education (Deped)-initiated line, district, unit and Davao City Athletic Association meets that serve as qualifying for the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet and Palarong Pambansa.

It had also served as preparation for Palarong Pambansa-bound Davraa teams from Davao City for the past eight years.

Teams avail of transportation subsidy, free lunch and Yakult drinks for two days and baseball equipment from Japan. Last year, all players also received school bags. Mallari, however, said the 19 teams entered in this year's tournament will still get the same except for the school bags.

"Even if teams are not that confident to play, they join because they get quality baseball equipment for free that they can use in their training," Mallari added.

World-class Japanese baseball coach Hidetoshi Suzuki and DUDFI sports director Yusuke Uchida also give participants free training on the side of the competition.

A baseball team from Japan was also brought in last year to play an exhibition with the Davao City Baseball Cup All-Stars. The visitors may have won the game but the Dabawenyos went home satisfied and grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

High-level

DCBA president Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia, for his part, said opening the tournament to other schools from outside the city will further raise the level of competition since regular teams have already been familiar with each other and same teams emerge champion for straight years.

Defending champion Crossing Bayabas National High School held the High School title for the past five years while elementary champion Baguio Central Elementary School was also consistent in top three.

Also seeing action in the 9th Davao Baseball Cup slated March 28 and 29 at the University of Mindanao (UM) baseball diamonds are Antonio Pichon Jr. Elementary School of Tibungco, Asbang Alok Elementary School of Davao del Sur, Bayabas Elementary School of Toril, F. Bustamante Centeral Elementary School of Tibungco, Mulig Elementary School of Toril, Ramon F. Magsaysay Elementary School, San Roque Central Elementary School, SIR Elementary School, Talomo Central Elementary School and Tawantawan Elementary School as well as Baguio National High School, Calinan National High School, Holy Cross College of Sasa, Magsaysay Academy, Inc., Maryknoll High School of New Corella in Davao del Norte and PNJKIS.

At stake are cash prizes, plaques and baseball equipment for the top three teams in each category. The champion teams will also get medals for the players and coach and Perpetual Trophy that will be turned over to succeeding yearly champions.

Meanwhile, this year's Cup is supported by the City Government of Davao through the Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) as part of the 77th Araw ng Dabaw Sportsfest.

It is also backed up by Yakult Philippines, Probiotics Inc., Shogakuji Temple in Fuchu City, Tokyo, Katsuhiko Umeki, Katsuhiko Tamura, Kazuma Sports, Funasho Shoji Company, Del Monte Company and PNJKI as minor sponsors and supporters Coach Hidetoshi Suzuki, Tomoya Katayama, Nitten Company, Consul Koichi Ibara, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, UM and DepEd.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 22, 2014.

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