The Philippines won Group B (preliminary round) and will join Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. Opening action will begin Sat. Dec. 1st matching up Japan against the Philippines and Taiwan against South Korea. As astutely noted by a few posters, Stadeo.tv will be broadcasting the games.
Coach Kuo has made his final roster cuts, trimming his team down to 24 guys. The unlucky 6 are: P's Sung-Wei Tseng and Yu-Cheng Liao, C Kun-Sheng Lin, IF Chao-Hsing Cheng, OF's Lien-Hung Chen and Kuo-Hui Lo. So the final roster looks like this:
The Korean NT HC is confident in his team. More on the Korean NT SP rotation.
The heavy-favorite to win it all is Japan - they are loaded with talent at every position and unlike Taiwan and to a lesser extent - South Korea - have some serious pitching depth.
The President Lions signed former NT slugger Chun-Yu Kuo to a contract recently. Kuo played on the Lions' minor league team in 2007, hitting .270 with 1 HR and 17 RBI's in 115 AB's. The 23 year old was a member of the 2002 junior NT and played on the 2005 NT that competed in the World Cup that year. During the 2005 WC, on a team that included Chin-Lung Hu, Yung-Chi Chen, and Kuo-Hui Lo, CY Kuo led the squad with 4 HR's in the tourney.
In other CPBL news, 29 potential 2007 CPBL draftees (to be held in December) were under the scrutinous eyes of CPBL scouts Thursday. Of the 29 candidates, several players stood out:
1)RHP Sheng-Jung Wang (5'9 1/2"/176 pounds/DOB: 3/17/82) - brother of recent Elephants signee Sheng-Wei Wang, was clocked at 91 mph during the testing (best radar reading of the day).
2)OF Cheng-Chi Huang (6'0"/187 pounds/DOB: 11/15/83) - the lefty cracked a HR on Thursday which wasn't a surprise as he was the top slugger on the 2000 junior NT that competed in Edmonton - hitting .333 with 2 HR's and 7 RBI's. Was also a member of the 2001 junior NT that won the Asian Championships.
3)OF's Hsing-Feng Chang & Chih-Hsiang Cheng (both are 24 y.o.) also flashed some power with HR's on Thursday as well.
*Sinon Bulls star P Chien-Fu Yang's younger brother also participated in the tryout. Yang's younger brother was part of the first wave of Taiwanese kids (4 total) that went over to Fukuoka, Japan in 1997 - paving the way for Chung-Shou Yang (went to Fukuoka in 2003). Chung-Shou Yang's talented older brother Yao-? Yang (the middle bro - Yao-Hsun Yang of the Hawks is the oldest one) also played in Fukuoka (attended HS in 2001 and then later Fukuoka University - but wasn't selected in the recent NPB industrial/college draft).