MANILA, Philippines - More than 100 teams from all over the country take their first step to a possible World Series stint as they compete in the Little League Philippine Series beginning today in various venues in Marikina.
The baseball and softball teams, numbering 112 as of yesterday morning, will vie in the national championships in Little League (11-12), Junior League (14-under), Senior League (16-U), and Big League (18-U) divisions.
Winners of the weeklong Philppine Series will represent the country in the Asia Pacific regional championships in July in Clark, which will serve as qualifying for the World Series.
Traditional powers ILLAM, Muntinlupa, and Tanauan, former Big League softball world titlist Manila, and world series campaigners Iloilo Province and Sta. Cruz, Laguna lead the banner cast in one of the biggest Philippine Series in years.
The host city is also expected to contend in the majors and Big League competitions.
Games will be played in 15 fields set up at Marikina Sports Center, as well as in Barangka, Sto. Niño, Boys Town, Marist, Sumulong, and Noritake. Rizal High and Rosario Sports Center in Pasig will host softball and junior baseball, respectively.
Little League officials expect competition to be high in this series, being held in celebration of the 75th year of Little League worldwide.
“Last year, eight different teams from different cities fought for the championship and we expect it to be as competitive this year,” said LL Philippines district administrator Jolly Gomez.
“We can never really tell who has the decisive edge here considering most charters are now stepping up,” said assistant district administrator Chito Gonzales.