LAHORE: Pakistan will face world No. 2 Japan in the opening match of the 17th Asian Games baseball on Sept 23.

According to draws announced by organisers of the event, teams from China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Thailand are divided into two groups.

Pakistan will take on Mongolia on Sept 24 and China on Sept 25.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Baseball Federation secretary Khawar Shah said Pakistan had a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

“Our team is quite capable to beat Mongolia and we will go all out to overcome the challenge of China to qualify for the semi-final,” the secretary said.

However, he admitted China had a slim advantage in ranking as they were fourth in Asia while Pakistan were fifth.

The secretary said, while the event was around the corner, his federation was still waiting a call from the Pakistan Sports Board to get its help in organising a training camp in a befitting manner.

“At present the federation is holding the national training camp in Lahore from its limited resources. Though the boys and coach Musaddiq Hanif are working hard with an ambition to beat China to confirm a place in the pre-final, it would have been better had the PSB stepped forward to assist the federation for better preparations,” he said.

However, he said the time was still remaining and if the PSB took a prompt decision, the PBF could bring improvement in the training camp.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2014