PABA to step up to the plate
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
THE 2021 Women’s Baseball World Cup scheduled in Tijuana, Mexico this March became the latest casualty in sports in the worldwide battle against the deadly coronavirus disease.
But the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA), headed by president Chito Loyzaga, sees a cloud with a silver lining in the postponement of the prestigious competition scheduled March 1-9 in the popular tourist-friendly city known as the “Gateway to Maxico”.
Loyzaga also hopes PABA will able to step up to the plate.
“I hate to be the one to tell you the bad news, but I just got confirmation from the World Baseball Softball Confederation that the Women’s World Cup has been postponed again to a later date,” said Loyzaga during the weekly “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom recently.
“The event was supposed to be held in Monterey, Mexico in 2020, but was postponed this year to Tijuana, Mexico. But now we have to wait again due to the pandemic,” explained Loyzaga during the public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“Wala pang malinaw sa petsa kung kailan uli ito idaraos. Hopefully, matuloy ito pagkatapos ng Tokyo Olympics. It will be a big challenge to keep our momentum now,” added Loyzaga, son of basketball great Caloy “The Big Difference” Loyzaga.
Loyzaga said this would have been the first time that the Philippines will participate in the World Cup, along with host Mexico and France.
The Philippines earned the right to participate in the World Cup by finishing third behind Japan and Chinese-Taipei in the 2019 Women’s Baseball Asian Cup held Nov. 9-15 in Zhongshan, China.
The Filipinas defeated the Chinese, 11-1, to book the third and final Asian spot behind world No. 2 Japan and world No. 6 Chinese-Taipei.
The three Asian countries will join Pan-American representatives United States, Canada, Venezuela and Mexico, Europe champion France, Oceania entry Australia and wildcards Cuba, Dominican Republic and Netherlands in the 12-team cast.
Loyzaga also said the Asian Boys Under-12 Championships scheduled in Taiwan on March will also have to wait.
“The Baseball Federation of Asia also decided to cancel the Under-12 tournament, which will serve as continental qualifier to the 2021 WBSC World Cup in August,” said Loyzaga.
“We’re supposed to hold it by the end of March, pero hindi din matuloy as a safety precaution.. It was supposed to be held last year, but was also postponed dahil din sa pandemic. Hopefully, we can have it by 2022.”
But Loyzaga, who also served as PSC commissioner before moving to PABA first as secretary-general, said the postponement will allow the athletes to stay safe at home until the vaccine is found.
“With regards to our women’s team, PABA decided to suspend our training because of the present pandemic. Gusto natin tiyakin din yun safety ng ating mga atleta. But when we’re in a better situation when we can face to face training, balik na uli tayo,” said Loyzaga
But even with the postponement of competitions and training Loyzaga said that PABA is still keeping in touch with the players.