The training camp for the Japan National Team in preparation for this month's international baseball tournament began in Miyazaki City on 6 June, and coach IBATA Hirokazu, who will be playing for the first time in this tournament, expressed his enthusiasm for the tournament, saying, "We want to prepare well for the tournament."
The Japan National Team, led by coach Ibata, who was appointed last month, began a training camp at Kiyotake Sports Park in Miyazaki City on June 6 in preparation for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship, an international tournament consisting of young players.
Twenty players participated in the training camp, including third-year DeNA player Hidego Maki, who won the RBI title and the title of most hits, and Japan Ham's Nakamasa Manha, who hit 3 home runs this season.
Coach Ibata regards this tournament as an opportunity to develop young players and gain experience in international competitions, and in a meeting held at the dormitory before the training session, he encouraged the players, saying, "There are several players in the WBC who have participated in this tournament, so I hope that they will gain as much experience as possible so that they can be selected for future international tournaments."
On the first day of practice, Seibu pitcher Tomichiro Sumida, who won nine games in his second year as a professional, was the only one in the bullpen and took pitching practice under the watchful eye of Coach Ibata.
In the batting practice held in the afternoon, Maki, who coach Ibata has revealed will use at No. 4, hit a liner ball from a wide angle.
This was Coach Ibata's first tournament as the head coach of the national team, and on the first day of the training camp, he was seen actively communicating with the players.
Coach Ibata said, "It was my first time to see the players, but I thought they were all doing a good job. We want to prepare ourselves well so that we can be in good condition for the tournament."
The Asian Professional Baseball Championship will be held at the Tokyo Dome for four days from 16 this month, with national teams from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia participating.
Director Ibata, a phone call of encouragement from Shigeo Nagashima
Coach IBATA Hirokazu revealed that he received a phone call of encouragement from NAGASHIMA Shigeo, who was the coach of the Japan National Team in the Athens Olympics qualifiers, on the 4th.
Coach Ibata said, "Mr. Nagashima said cheerfully, 'Coach Kuriyama became the world number one in the WBC, but that is a different thing, and he wants me to create a new Japan.'