MANILA, Philippines - The PSC-POC National Games kicks off its baseball hostilities in two venues today with a heavy five-game slate featuring a “clash of champions” between UAAP champion National U and SCUAA ruler Rizal Technological U.
The Bulldogs, who broke a 45-year title drought last March, and the RTU Blue Thunder, the perennial champion in state colleges and universities tilts, mix it up at 12 noon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, looking to draw first blood in Group B, a bracket stacked with three UAAP teams.
University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines, two past UAAP winners in Group B, highlight action over at the UST field, taking the diamond at 3 p.m. following the 12:30 p.m. Group A encounter between PRISAA kingpin Angeles University Foundation and Philab-Los Baños, a squad composed of former national clouters.
In other featured Group A matches at the Rizal ballpark, it will be the national men’s team, the reigning SEA Games champion, against the Phl Youth team, fourth-placers in the 2011 BFA AAA championship, at 9 a.m. and ex-UAAP champ Adamson versus Titans at 3 p.m.
The 14-team PNG baseball hostilities formally open at 8:30 a.m. at the Rizal Memorial with the traditional parade of teams and opening ceremonies to be graced by Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia and Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco.
Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (Paba) president Hector Navasero will deliver the opening remarks while Phl team coach Wilfredo Hidalgo will lead the oath of sportsmanship. Paba EVP and tournament director Ely Baradas will declare the games open.
Cojuangco, Garcia, PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, and Baradas will throw the ceremonial pitch.
The four other participating teams, meanwhile, make their respective debuts tomorrow. ILLAM Big League takes on AUF at 9 a.m. while Korean Students and Manila Jaycees-backed Smokey Mountain tangle at 12 noon in Group A wars at Rizal. Alabang Selection Big League slugs it out with UP in a 12:30 p.m. Group B setto at UST field.