Asia Professional Baseball Championship to open on 16 November in Tokyo

Asia Professional Baseball Championship to open on 16 November in Tokyo
The top U-24 prospects of the NPB, KBO, CPBL and ABL leagues will compete in a round-robin. The top two teams will play for the title on Sunday, 19 November.

The Asia Professional Baseball Championship, presented by CARNEXT, will open on Thursday, 16 November, at the Tokyo Dome.

The top U-24 prospects of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and Australian Baseball League (ABL) leagues will represent their countries in an event sanctioned by the WBSC.

After the round-robin, the top two finishers will play for the title, while the third and fourth-place teams will play for third place. The finals are scheduled for Sunday, 19 November.

Game Schedule (all times are local)

16 November 16:00 Korea @ Australia
16 November19:00Chinese Taipei @ Japan
17 November16:00Australia @ Chinese Taipei
17 November19:00Japan @ Korea
18 November16:00Australia @ Japan
18 November19:00Korea @ Chinese Taipei
19 November11:00fourth place @ third place
19 November18:00second place @ first place (final)

The official web page

Hirokazu Ibata will manage World No. 1 Japan.
He will count on a roster with plenty of international experience since 11 players already represented Japan at various levels. Pitcher Kazuto Taguchi (Tokyo Yakult Swallows) helped Japan win the WBSC Premier12 2019, and infielder Shugo Maki was on the 2023 World Baseball Classic roster. Outfielder Chusei Mannami (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) is among the Pacific League gold glovers.

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star David Nilsson will manage Australia as he did at the WBSC Premier12 2019. He will count on 14 of the players who recently helped Australia qualify for the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup. Pitchers Brodie Cooper-Vassalakis, one of the top ABL prospects, and Kai-Noa Wynyard, who played at the Single-A level in the US, are among the players to watch. Outfielder and catcher Chris Burke made an impact in the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2022.

Olympian and former MLB slugger Chin-Feng Cheng will manage Chinese Taipei.
His roster includes players who have helped the Wei Chuan Dragons win the 2023 Taiwan Series: pitcher Kai-Wei Lin, catcher Shao-Hung Chiang, infielder Li-Hong Liu and outfielder Tien-Hsin Kuo.

Joong-Il Ryu, who won four consecutive Korean Series titles as the skipper of the Samsung Lions (2011-2014), will manage Korea. The team that Ryu led to the fourth straight Asia Games gold medal represents the roster's core, including right-hander Dong-Ju Moon, a WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup alum, who pitched six scoreless innings in the gold medal game. Reliever Woo-Young Jung was one of the primary setup men for the Korean Series winners LG Twins during the 2023 season.