Philippines win big at Asia Pacific Bronco-11 and Mustang Zone tournaments in Jakarta
The Philippines took top honors at the Asia Pacific Bronco-11 and Mustang Zone tournaments held May 22-25 and will move on to compete in their respective World Series this summer. The tournaments were the first Asia Pacific events to be hosted by PONY Indonesia and the tournament was considered a great success.
The implementation of the Asia Pacific Zone Mustang and Bronco-11 tournaments just a few years ago led to the rapid growth of baseball in Southeast Asia. PONY recognized a need for competition at a younger age to spark the development of youth programs in the countries that were not on a level to compete with others. This led to the Asia Pacific Mustang tournament in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2011. After the success of this tournament, the Bronco-11 category was added the following year. Since the inception of each, many new countries have been participating in the events and the sport has become more competitive in the region.
This year’s games were played at the Senayan Baseball Complex in Jakarta where teams from Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Eastern Russia contended for the Zone title and the opportunity to represent their country and participate in the World Series for their age group. Unfortunately, teams from Vietnam were forced to back out of the tournament due to unexpected school exam schedule changes. Host teams were able to fill their positions at the last minute.
The complex is home to three fields and a training facility to meet all of the young athlete’s needs during the event. Inclement weather was a concern, but tournament play concluded on time in a satisfactory manner.
The Razcals of the Philippines were the Asia Pacific Mustang Champions in Jakarta. They faced an enthusiastic group when they played Indonesia. After Indonesia pulled ahead with a two run lead in the first, the Razcals ultimately came out on top with a 24-14 victory. They will later compete in the World Series in Burleson, Texas.
The Asia Pacific Zone Bronco-11 Champions are the Philippine Barakos. The team consists of 14 players, 10 from Batangas and four from Muntinlupa in the Philippines. They were able to fight off a 6-0 first inning deficit against Indonesia by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the inning. Scoring another 11 runs in the third helped the Barakos to seal a 25-10 victory and a slot at the Bronco-11 World Series in Chesterfield, Virginia.
These teams came to be when Rod Tingzon, Representative for PONY Southeast Asian Affairs, was searching for a team to compete in the inaugural Asia Pacific Mustang Championships in 2011. The teams, which had been playing with used equipment in an area south of Manila in the Philippines, were chosen by Tingzon. The Razcals adopted their name because of their small stature and mischievous nature at the time. “Barako” means tough and the Barakos were given their name accordingly. The Razcals won the 1st Asia Pacific Mustang Championship in 2011 and the Barakos took the 1st Bronco-11 Championship last year in Singapore and participated in the World Series.
Being the first PONY Asia Pacific event held in Indonesia, the tournament will open doors to more events in the area and will also promote the sport of baseball in the country. “The success of the tournament will be a great help in order for PONY Indonesia to host more tournaments,” said parent volunteer Reni Firdaus. “Baseball in our country will be more prosperous as well.”
Tingzon believed that the staff of tournament officials also greatly attributed to the success of the tournament. “They have shown their genuine concern for the youth by giving their total time, efforts and resources to stage a high-quality tournament,” he commented.
Next year’s Asia Pacific Zone Mustang and Bronco-11 Championships will be held in Manila, Philippines in May. This will mark the 50th Anniversary of Youth Baseball in the Philippines and the 40th Year of PONY in the country as well.