“I told him I would take care of the rest, so don’t worry and just get one win.” ‘Laos baseball evangelist’ Lee Man-soo (65), former SK (now SSG) coach, traveled to Hangzhou, China, where the Asian Games were being held, on the 24th and joined the Laos baseball team. Former coach Lee, who participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games five years ago as vice president of the Laos Baseball Association, will join the national team as ‘Head of Staff’ this year.먹튀검증
Laos, ranked 75th in the world baseball rankings, will attempt its first win in the Asian Games in the preliminary matches against Thailand (70th) on the 26th and Singapore (74th) on the 27th. If you win just one of the two games, you can advance to the group stage (finals).
The problem is cost. Due to the poor financial situation of the Laos Baseball Association, local lodging expenses were allocated only until the preliminary round. In response, former coach Lee said, “I will somehow cover the expenses after advancing to the finals, so I asked the players to just get one win. “That one win will play a big role in creating a baseball boom in Laos,” he said.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of former coach Lee sowing the seeds of baseball in Laos. In the fall of 2014, when he resigned from his position as SK coach, he visited Laos, which was a ‘baseball wasteland’, and devoted himself to promoting baseball. Former coach Lee, who established the Hulk Foundation to systematically donate baseball talent, founded Lao J Brothers, the first baseball team in Laos, and led this team to participate in the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.
The first opponent at that time, like this tournament, was Thailand. Laos lost 0-15, a cold game in the 6th inning, against Thailand, which was their official debut on the international stage. In the second match against Sri Lanka, they lost 10-15 after a tight game. Former coach Lee said, “Considering our strength, it was not surprising that we lost to Thailand 0-30 in the fifth inning of a cold game. However, the players did their best until the end and held on until the 6th inning, and played on equal footing with Sri Lanka. “At the time, our players did not have a baseball field, so they trained by drawing lines on the soccer field. Now there is a decent baseball stadium built by a Korean company in the capital, Vientiane. “It won’t be easy to get one win, but it won’t be as easy as it was five years ago.”
Former coach Lee’s other goal is to win two games in a row by beating Singapore despite being eliminated. If Laos ranks first in the preliminary round, it will be placed in Group B, which includes Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. If they win 1 and lose 1, they will advance to Group A, which includes Japan. Former coach Lee said, “Korea, which I have visited several times through field training, is an object of envy for Laotian players. “Whether I win or lose, I want to have a great game with Korean players if possible,” he said. The Laos national team visited Korea in May of this year and gained experience by playing practice games with domestic middle and high school teams. Professional baseball NC Dinos also provided baseball equipment worth 60 million won to the Laos national team earlier this month.
Former coach Lee made a pledge starting this spring, saying, “If the Laos national team wins its first win at the Hangzhou Asian Games, I will play in only my underwear at the Vientiane Presidential Palace.” He plans to repeat the ‘panty performance’ he did in front of a crowd that filled Incheon Munhak Baseball Stadium in 2007 when he was SK’s head coach. The reason former coach Lee devotes his body and soul to Laos baseball is because of his long-term goal of spreading and popularizing baseball throughout the Indochina Peninsula. He said, “When I first set foot on Laos, I set a goal to spread baseball throughout the Indochina Peninsula over 20 years. It took 10 years for the Laos national team to establish itself. “For the next 10 years, we will work to spread baseball not only in Laos but also in other countries,” he said.
Thanks to his efforts, the Vietnam Baseball Association was established in 2021. Former coach Lee is planning to go to Cambodia this November to form a baseball team. He plans to spread baseball to Myanmar soon. He said, “I have received a lot from baseball. Even now, wearing a baseball uniform can’t be that good. “I don’t know how long it will last, but I want to repay the love I received through baseball as much as I can,” he said.