Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan to host Group B matches of baseball’s Premier12

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Taipei Baseball Association chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr, center, lifts up the trophy for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 tournament.

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

Taiwan is to host Group B of the Premier12 baseball competition in November, with the home side facing a tough schedule as they seek one of two berths for Asia at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Group B’s matches are to be played on three consecutive days, with Taiwan to play Puerto Rico on Nov. 5, Venezuela on Nov. 6 and Japan on Nov. 7.

Taiwan’s group games are at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium.

Japan are to play their other two group games at the Taoyuan International Stadium, facing Venezuela on Nov. 5 and Puerto Rico the next day.

“Today we celebrate one of the most exciting moments on the road to the Premier12 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) president Riccardo Fraccari said in Taichung on Friday. “The stakes have never been higher for an international baseball competition, and we expect some very high-pressure, intense and exciting games, as well as big surprises in the opening round.”

Chinese Taipei Baseball Association chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr called on Taiwan’s players to get winning results and make the nation proud.

“We are hosting Group B, so we will have the advantage of home support, but good performances are needed from the players and coaches,” Koo said. “It would be best to get victories and to bring the Premier12 title to Taiwan.”

Fraccari also announced the schedule for Group A — Mexico, the US, Dominican Republic and the Netherlands — with games from Nov. 2 through Nov. 5.

Group A matches are to be played at the Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco in Zapopan, Mexico, with the stadium built for the 2011 Pan American Games.

In Seoul today, Fraccari is to announce the schedule for Group C, which is hosted by South Korea, who face Cuba, Canada and Australia.

WBSC selects Premier12 teams from the top of its world rankings. The top two finishers in the three groups advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from Nov. 11 to 16.

The final is to be played at the Tokyo Dome on Nov. 17.

Two quota spots for the Olympics are to be allocated, with the best team from the Asia/Oceania region — excluding Japan — competing for one and the top finisher from the Americas territory taking the other.

In the Chinese Professional Baseball League, the Uni-President Lions won their series against the Brothers Baseball Club with two straight wins over the weekend, while the Fubon Guardians ended their five-game losing streak by beating the Lamigo Monkeys 8-4 at the Sinjhuang Stadium in New Taipei City.

In Tainan, the Uni-President Lions prevailed 5-3 yesterday after their win on Saturday, taking the three-match series 2-1.

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