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Taiwan teams win little league regional title, advance to worlds

Philippines -- All three teams sent by Taiwan to the Little League Baseball (LLB) Asia/Pacific qualification tournament have advanced to the World Series to be held in the United States.

The team in the junior league division of the tournament, which was held July 1-7 in Clark Freeport Zone, north of the Philippine capital Manila, beat their opponents from Hong Kong 10-0 Sunday.

That victory was followed later in the day by the Taiwanese team competing in the little league division, which beat South Korea 11-2.

The junior league and little league teams both won all seven of their games during the tournament.

A day earlier, the Taiwanese team competing in the big league division won that championship.

The three teams will now represent the Asia-Pacific region in their respective divisions of the World Series, to be held across the U.S. from late July.

Chao Ping-nan, head of the Sports Office in Taoyuan County, where the three teams come from, said he appreciated the cheers and support shown by Taiwanese expatriates living in the Philippines during the tournament.

Jolly Gomez, head of the Philippine Sports Commission, said he is grateful to Taiwan for taking part in the tournament despite the recent diplomatic row between the two countries over the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard.

Gomez said he hopes sports exchanges can help promote normalization of ties between Taiwan and the Philippines.

Taiwanese Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling, meanwhile, sent a message of congratulations to each of the teams after their victories.

The Big League World Series will be held in Easley, South Carolina July 24-31, the junior league competition will take place in Taylor, Michigan Aug. 11-17, and the little league tournament will be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania Aug. 15-25.

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