The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association is looking to slowly bring local baseball back on its feet after progress made from 2019 was put to a halt last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
PABA is set to compete in the Women’s Baseball World Cup slated March 1 to 9 in Mexico, but preparing for the country’s historic stint could be a long process because of government restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
But PABA vice president Boy Tingzon said the federation would rather anticipate any possibilities than wait for normalcy to come back.
“What we’re doing now is we’re still preparing for anything that may come out,” Tingzon said in Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association. “But whatever the case, whether it goes through or not, we want to be prepared.”
The Philippines gained a spot in the World Cup after placing third in the 2019 Women’s Baseball Asia Cup in China, an impressive showing for a team that was formed several months prior.
PABA is hoping to receive clearance to hold a training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna in preparation for the World Cup. So far, only Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls are permitted to train under a bubble setup in that facility.
The World Cup was supposed to be held last year, but was pushed to this year due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 stopped any good outlook PABA saw shortly after the men’s team took home the gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and was already in thick of preparations for the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.
PABA secretary general Pepe Munoz also bared in the weekly forum that there were exploratory talks to bring back Baseball Philippines, the semi-pro league that ran from 2007 to 2012.
“This COVID situation really came at a bad time because as I’ve mentioned to several people, 2019 was a very good year for PABA,” said Munoz. “There was so much momentum for PABA, there was so much momentum for baseball in the Philippines and especially after the Southeast Asian Games.
“People were talking about reviving Baseball Philippines. So we were telling ourselves that once we finished the World Baseball Classic in March, then let’s start looking at Baseball Philippines. Unfortunately, COVID came,” added Munoz, who added that hopes for a revival are still there.