International Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM) begins its quest in the Senior League division against Thailand.
ILLAM manager Arsenic Laurel said the other seven teams are no pushovers especially with Oceania powerhouse New Zealand.
“It will be a tall order to fulfill our mission against those teams, particularly New Zealand. But, I’m optimistic that our team can pull it through and the players are determined to clinch a berth to the World Series.
The Philippines, along with China, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marian Islands, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand are competing for the right to represent the region to the 2013 Senior League World Series in Bangor, Maine from August 11 to 17.
Ace pitcher Dan Laurel and top slugger Diego Lozano will be leading Illam’s campaign backed by Pacific Online,Yellow Pages ,Knight Capital and Paragon Consulting.
They will be supported by Boo Barandiaran, Tony Ozaeta, Phons Balagtas, Marco Mallari, Josh Salinas, Raf Eala, Nacho Lozano, Nasaaki Iwasaki, Javi Macasaet, Miguel Habana, Joaquin Bilbao, and brothers Gio Esguerra and Rafael Esguerra.
University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 75 finals Most Valuable Player Matt Laurel is ILLAM’s head coach with Larry Icban and Duke Fabilo as his assistants.
ILLAM ruled the Senior League division of the Little League’s Philippine Series last April held on Tanauan City in Batangas to earn the right of representing the country in the Asia Pacific Regional Tournament.