Tim Tebow excited to play for PH in World Baseball Classic qualifiers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 27) — Former American football superstar Tim Tebow is set to play for the Philippines in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) qualifiers.

Tebow agreed to represent the country in the baseball meet, which begins next month in Tucson, Arizona.

"Grateful and excited to play for team Philippines," Tebow tweeted.

The son of Baptist missionaries in the Philippines, Tebow was born in Makati and stayed in the country until before his fifth birthday, according to the MLB website. Tebow knows how to speak a bit of Filipino.

“I’ve just really had a love for the people for a long time. To be able to represent them will be really cool -- really, really cool. You don’t get a lot of chances to represent people or places that mean something to you,” Tebow said in an interview on the MLB website.

The former Heisman Trophy winner has spent the past four years playing for the minor league team of the New York Mets.

The Philippines is in Pool 2 of the qualifiers, along with the Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand and Panama. The top two teams in the qualifiers will advance to the main draw of the WBC next year.

The 2021 edition is expanding to 20 teams. Sixteen teams received automatic bids, while the Philippines is trying to secure one of those four remaining berths. The country has twice participated in WBC qualifiers but has never qualified for the main tournament.

Team Philippines will play its first game on March 20 against Czech Republic.