Manila, Philippines – A baseball team from Indonesia is arriving next week to play three friendly games against the Philippine national team at the Rizal Memorial ballpark.
Handled by Japanese coach Kazuto Nonaka, the Surabayabased East Java Jawa Timur baseball team faces the World Baseball Classic-bound Filipinos on Thursday to get important pointers from the Filipinos who they regard as one of the best teams in Asia and No. 1 in Southeast Asia.
The three-game series is part of the team preparation for the Indonesia National Olympic Games next month in Jakarta.
Java Timur is the second baseball team in less than a month to play against the Filipinos.
Last month, a Jakarta-based team headed by former national player and coach Harry Trisnadi, played four games against the Nationals.
Former national player and ex-Santo Tomas standout Wilfredo Hidalgo will call the shots for the locals, taking the cudgel from Edgar de los Reyes, who resigned last week to concentrate as coach of ILLAM.
Meanwhile, a Sri Lankan team will also arrive next month to play exhibition games against the Filipinos.
This will be the first time Sri Lanka, a cricket country, will play baseball in the Philippines.
Sri Lanka is a regular competitor in the Asian Cup, a Division II baseball tournament which also features teams from India and Middle East countries.
The Filipinos are also preparing for the World Baseball Classic qualifying slated next month in Chinese Taipei.