On Saturday, Zamboanga City jumped on Ryan early and often and led 7-0 after an inning. When the game ended, the Filipinos tossed their gloves in the air, then gathered in front of their dugout. Standing shoulder to shoulder on the third base line, they doffed their caps and bowed to their cheering fans. "This is a matter of national pride," said one of the Filipino fans.
Roberto Placious and his teammates may not see it in quite those grandiose terms. On Saturday night, between mouthfuls of rice cakes and spicy chicken and papaya, Roberto posed for photos with beaming Filipino businessmen. He looked a little sheepish, but playing the part of a celebrity is a small price to pay. After all, he's going to Disneyland.