Co-Ed Slow Pitch Softball Asia Cup (DAY 3) – 26th May, 2023 – Friday
Pictures by Krittayad Janasawad
Host Thailand were on a roll this morning, but Singapore gave them a fright in the final inning, before the former won their first match narrowly 7-6 and finished fourth for a third placing playoff tomorrow against third placed China in the inaugural Co-Ed Slow Pitch Softball Asia Cup match at the Siam Polo Club ground in Pattaya, Thailand.
Singapore had themselves to blame for this defeat and end the tournament without a win and missing the boat for a third placing play-off, when their fielding was reckless and were slow starters.
In the final inning, Singapore came back strongly from their one run to gain five runs, but they saved their best too late, as Thailand survived the onslaught.
As predicted by Thailand’s head coach Puwanai Chaichompo, who is also the secretary general of Softball Association of Thailand (SAT), on the eve of the match yesterday, where he confidently said that it was their target to qualify for the World Cup as host and boldly predicted that they will qualify, they have one part of their ambition fulfilled.
Thailand had one more match in the preliminary round fixtures when they played Philippines in the afternoon, and despite a bold prediction that they will win too, they were trounced by the latter 11-31.
Maybe Thailand were facing their best for their clash against China tomorrow, as they already had qualifed for the third placing match when they sent Singapore home win less, but Philippines showed no mercy as they used Thailand as a practice match for the final against Chinese Taipei.
Thailand had lost to China 4-10 in their preliminary round clash, while Philippines had gone down to Chinese Taipei 8-12.
While both Thailand and Philippines have promised to seek revenge in their clashes against China and Chinese Taipei respectively, all indications are that China will overcome the Thai challenge, but Chinese Taipei could face some stiff opposition to wrest the inaugural slow pitch softball Asia Cup.
Both Chinese Taipei and Philippines have already qualified for the World Cup in Mexico as the top two finishers, while the battle will be for the third ticket awarded to the winner of the third placing match.
Chinese Taipei, who are unbeaten after four preliminary matches saw their coach, Tang Cheng Hao, declare that they will remain unbeaten in the tournament and beat Philippines in final, despite their close 9-8 victory over China in their final preliminary round match today.
“We just did enough to beat China and saved our best for the final,” said Tang.
Philippines coach, Ana Maria Santiago, on the other hand, said the final was totally a different ball game.
“We may have lost to Chinese Taipei in the preliminary round match, but the final is altogether different, as we challenge for the title. We have nothing to lose as we have already earned our World Cup ticket and will go for broke.
“In fact, today against Thailand, we showed we mean business as we prepared for the final as I told the players this is a very important match as our run-up to the final.”
Ana also said that although they will miss their ace batter, Dino Emiglio Giuseppe Altomonte, who is ruled out because of hamstring injury suffered on Thursday, the team is ready for the challenge against Chinese Taipei.
“The players’ commitment and performance today, without Dino, is proof that they want to win this tournament.”
Indeed, an interesting final is on the cards.
RESULTS (DAY 1)
China 6 Philippines 7
Singapore 5 Chinese Taipei 12
Thailand 4 China 10
Philippines 15 Singapore 7
RESULTS (DAY 2)
Chinese Taipei 17 Thailand 10
China 17 Singapore 8
Philippines 8 Chinese Taipei 12
TODAY’S RESULTS (DAY 3) (Friday)
Thailand 7 Singapore 6
China 8 Chinese Taipei 9
Philippines 31 Thailand 11
TOMORROW’S FINAL DAY FIXTURE (Saturday)
Bronze medal – China (Preliminary Round 3rd placed) v Thailand (Preliminary Round 4th placed) – 9.00am
Gold Medal – Chinese Taipei PR 1 V Philippines PR 2
(All Thai time)