Yellow Box men’s team ‘hungry’ to defend title
INCHON, South Korea — Yellow Box of Okinawa has reached the championship game of the past seven Pacific interservice softball Grand Slam tournaments.
But unlike Okinawa power Pacific Force, the only other team that reach seven straight finals, Yellow Box has won just one of those finals.
The team intends to grab a second straight Pacificwide Open Tournament title this weekend at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.
“We’re hungry,” said Yellow Box coach John O’Brien, whose team beat the International Guzzlers of South Korea in the finale last May for its first Grand Slam title. “It’s the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. We’re pumped and ready to start playing ball again.”
Yellow Box is one of 30 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing in the largest of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
The combined round-robin/double-elimination tournament starts Friday at 9 a.m. and concludes Monday at the Lombardo Field FourPlex on Yongsan’s South Post.
Defending women’s champion TPS Diamonds of Okinawa folded at the end of last season. Coach Al Lozano brought three players back to help form the Kadena Air Base women’s varsity team.
“It’ll be a good experience for the younger players who haven’t been at a tournament at this level,” said Lozano, who led the Diamonds to titles in the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year. The Typhoon Classic in October had no women’s field.