Some 200 school children representing the cities of Cabuyao, Calamba, Sta. Rosa and Biñan became the initial beneficiaries of the first baseball and softball grass root development program of the “Cabuyao Athletes Basic Schools” launched last weekend.
The ambitious program is part of the total city sports project initiated by Cabuyao Mayor Mel Gecolea aimed at identifying raw an fresh talents not only from these four cities of Laguna but other cities and towns in the province.
Many towns in the province, particularly Canlubang, used to be the major breeding grounds of international-caliber baseball and softball players that represented the country in many Asian and world level tournaments.
Gecolea himself was a youth baseball standout who saw action in several Asian Regional competitions on the way to the PONY Baseball World Series in the 1980s.
“This is long overdue. It’s about time, I think, that this kind of program is launched if only to revive the country’s glorious days in baseball and softball, “ Rodolfo “Boy” Tingzon, president of the Philippine of Baseball Association, one of several entities supporting the program, said.
Tingzon, son of Rodolfo “Totoy” Tingzon, a
cknowledged as the father of youth baseball movement in the country and Asia, is urging other cities, municipalities and provinces to adopt the CABS program.
“It’s been a long time since he Philippines won an Asian baseball championship, 1954 pa. We have yet to win an Asian crown in women’s softball although our Blu Girls were once the third best in the world,” Tingzon reminisced.
“The Blu Boys, on the other hand, were Asian champ four time besides ending fourth in the world before. We were once the third best baseball-playing country in he world,” Tingzon, likewise recalled.
“We really need a stronger youth grassroots program to recapture our glorious years in these two sports, which, incidentally are the only team sports where the Philippines is capable of excelling in Asia add even in the world as we had already proven before,” the younger Tingzon said.
Other groups that throw their all-out support to the program are HMR & Loro-Sports and former PABA official and may-time national coach Ely Baradas.
Boy Tingzon, a former Cabuyao vice mayor, expressed hopes the program be a regular feature of the province’s annual sports calendar.