Philippine Daily Inquirer

Batting for a Gilas national baseball program


Please share this enthusiast­ic letter from roving street sociologis­t Antonio Bulatao, a boyhood friend and ardent sports enthusiast:

The World Series of the US starts Wednesday morning, Philippine time .T he recentlyco­ncluded league championsh­ip series drew overcapaci­ty stadium crowds of around 50,000 each game; male, female, young and old .B aseball is considered America’s pastime.

Many Filipinos may not be aware that there is a Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, even with its strategic corner lot place. Very few could remember that there was a Manila Bay Baseball League (MBBL). Many Filipino children may not be aware there is such a game. Millennial­s and younger generation may not know the rudiments of the game.

Playing baseball is expensive. You’d need gloves, bats, balls, and a big playing field. My brothers and I played a two-base (home and field) game, with gloves improvised from carton boxes, dos-por-dos as bat, small empty milk can as ball .S afer with tennis ball for a baseball.

Dwindling viewership killed MBBL. Less viewership, less commercial support . S oon thereafter Philippine baseball went into limbo .T here were some bright days then with Philippine Little League Baseball when our team played well in internatio­nal competitio­ns, until a scandal in 1992 rocked it.


In the column of Recah Trinidad last Saturday, it is heartening to know that there is a Philippine baseball team competing very well in the 29th Asian Baseball Championsh­ip, and to know that EX-PBA stalwart Chito Loyzaga heads PABA. Mr .C hito did somehow a reverse of what the MBBL great Filomeno “Boy” Codinera did when he gave his sons to PBA.

Another proponent of Philippine baseball—kiddie baseball—is Fil-am Us-based Roberto Ribay. Mr .R ibay, a hot-blooded Bicolano graduate of USAF Academy, helped establishe­d a little league in his hometown Oas ,A lbay. He donated the necessary equipment for the players. He wants to go beyond the hometown league, and hopes for a reactivati­on of the national Philippine Little League Baseball.

———— However, when Mr .R ibay tried to reach out to the Philippine Sports Commission, he was told flatly baseball is not included in the PSC program.

My generation is still waiting for a Filipino NBA player. Unless we have a 5’7” being a champion in slam dunk, a5’ 10” three-time NBA slam dunk champion; our six-footers outshoot in three-point shots and outrun the NBA seven-footers, we’d die disappoint­ed.

“Gilas” may be appropriat­ely named .B ut “More Gilas” is what we need.

Why not a “More Gilas” baseball team?

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