November 05, 2012 10:35
Samsung Lions' slugger Lee Seung-yeop will wrap up his first season back in Korea by competing in the 2012 Asia Series in Busan from Thursday, thus giving him the chance to take on his former club, Japan's Yomiuri Giants, where he played from 2006 to 2010.
Yomiuri beat the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 4-3 in Game 6 of the Japan Series at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday to become this season's Japanese league champions. It is the 22nd title in the team's history and the first national league title it has clinched since Lee was on the roster in 2009.
This makes Yomiuri the final team to be joining those in Busan this week. The competition will feature the national champions from five Asian countries plus the home side, Lotte Giants. The group stage will last for three days, after which the top teams from both groups will advance to the final on Sunday.
The Asia Series was inaugurated in 2005, stopped in 2009, and revived last year. The first four titles were claimed by Japanese teams, but Samsung Lions put an end to Japan's winning streak last year by beating the Softbank Hawks.
This will be the first Asia Series held in Korea, and local fans are keen to see whether Lee's current and former teams will be able to meet in what would promise to be a thrilling final.
Following a two-day rest period in the wake of their victory at the Korean Series, Samsung resumed training from Sunday. The Yomiuri Giants will arrive in Korea on Tuesday.
Samsung, which is in Group A, will play Taiwanese and Chinese teams in the group stage, while Yomiuri will play the Lotte Giants and the Perth Heat from Australia in Group B.
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