Lamigo Monkeys and the Nippon-Ham Fighters have announced “2018 Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido” at CPBL head office today.

The winner of the 2017 Taiwan Series have been invited to have 2 exhibition games against NPB’s Nippon-Ham Fighters at the Sapporo Dome from 28 February.

2018 Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido poster. Lamigo Monkeys vs Nippon-Ham Fighters
The official 2018 Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido poster. Photo Credit: (Lamigo Monkeys Facebook)

Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido Schedule

  • Game 1 – 28 February 18:00 (Japan time)
  • Game 2 – 01 March 18:00 (Japan time)
2018 Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido announced CPBL lamigo monkeys vs nippon ham fighters
2018 Asia Friendship Series in Hokkaido announced.  Lamigo Monkeys vs Nippon-Ham Fighters

Not the first time those 2 teams meet

The last time those 2 teams played against each other was 11 years ago at Tokyo Dome during the 2006 Asia Series.

La New Bears (Lamigo Monkeys before the name change) faced Nippon-Ham Fighters twice in the tournament, once in the preliminary and another time in the final.  Despite putting up a good fight, La New Bears ends up dropping both games to the Fighters 2:1 and 1:0 and took home the silver medal.

2006 Asia Series Game 1 highlight

2006 Asia Series Game 2 highlight


  1. After batting over .400 with power for the second year in a row, not to mention to two home runs Wang hit against NPB strikeout champ Takahiro Norimoto in a February 2017 exhibition game, it amazes me that no NPB team has yet signed Wang P0-Jung.

    • Yeah it certainly puts Wang on Japanese media spotlight after his performance against Norimoto and Sugano during the exhibition. And just shortly before that, he also hits two against Chiba Lotte Marines at Ishigaki spring camp.

      There’s another CPBL player might be also on NPB watch list. Uni-Lions Chen Chieh-Hsien, he did well against Samurai Japan as well. His advantage over Wang would be he will not take up a foreign player spot if NPB team sign him. (Chen went through the Japanese education system)

  2. There was a post on today, again stating the Hanshin Tigers’ interest in Wang, along with most of the other teams you mention above. The post says that Wang “could earn his international free agent option next year.” Is that correct? If so, it might explain why no NPB team has tried to buy out Wang’s rights from the Lamigo Monkeys yet.

    • That’s correct. CPBL players after 3 years of “1st team service” time are eligible to sign with oversea market with the permission of their team.

      Not sure if I told you this already or not. But rumour has it, Wang supposed to sign with NPB after university. But both side can’t agree on the price. So, Wang decided to stay in Taiwan and participate in CPBL draft.

  3. That explains it. If Wang plays well in CPBL in 2018, it’s almost certain he’ll be playing in NPB in 2019. I can’t imagine that Lamigo would want to be seen standing in the way of Wang moving up to a better, higher paying league. If nothing else, Lamigo fans will always have the great 2017 season to remember Wang by.

    I definitely think Wang should go to NPB next. If he succeeds there quickly, as an international player, he should be able to sign with an MLB team while he’s still young, whenever MLB teams are ready to sign him and he feels ready.

    • Yeah, totally agree. Definitely should go with NPB to MLB route career wise. He did mentioned in previous interview unless MLB team is willing to offer him a contract that put him in 40-man roster, NPB would be his first priority.

      Wang’s on his 2nd year of the 5 years contract. He is expect to earn at least $200,000 USD in 2018 season. Should he choose to stay in CPBL, for 2020 he will be on $220K and $240K for 2021. This is not including incentive bonus too, based on news reports, Wang received over $34K USD in bonus in his rookie year.

      Monkeys had some previous experience posting player to NPB. They posted a LHP Wu Szu-Yu to Chiba Lotte Marines back in 2006. However the detail of the deal including posting fee remained under the table.

      That year Orix Buffaloes also interested in Chen Chin-Feng, but Chen decided to stay in Taiwan due to family reason, as he just returned to Taiwan after 7 years in the Dodgers system.


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