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Fighters intend to ask Kuriyama to remain manager: source

Kyodo

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters plan to ask Hideki Kuriyama to stay on as manager after the ongoing season is over, a team source said Thursday.

Kuriyama, 56, failed to guide the Fighters to defend the Pacific League pennant or the Japan Series championship, but the Sapporo-based club apparently places value on his record of winning two league titles in his six years as skipper and his efforts to train young players.

Nippon Ham extended his contract by a year after the Fighters defeated the Central League’s Hiroshima Carp last season to claim the Japan Series crown for the first time in a decade.

But the team has been lackluster this year, missing a chance to advance to the Climax Series as it became certain Wednesday that the Fighters will finish in the bottom half of the six-team PL standings.