A momentary lapse by Singapore and a moment of brilliance in the second inning by host and defending champion Japan, was good enough for their Under-23 team to live up to their favourites tag, to win by four runs to wrest the  12th Men Softball Asia Cup 2023 at the Kochi Softball Fields at Kochi Athletic Recreation Park, Haruno, this afternoon.


The four runs in the second inning was all Japan needed to down Singapore whom they had defeated 2-0 in the preliminary round match.

We did it….Japan players celebrate their victory over Singapore

Singapore tried  hard to turn the tables on Japan, represented by their U-23 Men that finished runners-up in the World Cup in Panana, Argentina in April, losing to Australia by a single run, but former showed better character and maturity.


Japan’s head coach, Shinji Eguchi said he was worried about the final, as he was concerned about the Singapore pitchers who were their forte in the team.

NO 1 Matsuo Shoki

I was concerned how my U23 players will do in the Men’s Asia Cup and was mainly concerned with their pitcher and how my players were going to cope,” said Eguchi.


“Glad that our pitchers didn’t give any runs and we have some runs at the beginning. Overall we won because our pitchers did a great job.

MVP Japan’s Hitto Nagayoshi

On the team’s next plan, he said: “Our goal was to get a gold medal and we achieved it. All the teams knew that it was our U23 participating this Asia Cup, but our players believed in themselves and felt that they had a chance players against the men’s team in this competition.


“While the players have done well, we will still have selection to chose the best players for the World Cup group stage. 


We still have to work on our pitchers and catchers, to improve further.”

The participating teams in the tournament

Hitto Nagayoshi, who was named the Most Valuable Player, on winning the gold medal had this to say: “We participated in WC U23 in Argentina with this team and we were disappointed to have to settle for the silver medal. Now here, with stronger bond of team work, everyone did great job to win this tournament.


When someone was not doing well, other team members are always there to encourage and lift the spirit of the player. That is how the Japan team is.


I’m so happy to be part of this team and I thank the selection committee members who chose me to be in this team. 

Singapore’s pitcher Marcus Chew Shi Phng

On winning the MVP, he said: I’m happy to get MVP, but I got this prize because my team members supported me and gave me a chance. I am the youngest of the team, but our seniors kindly accepted me in the team and appreciate them a lgreat deal. 


I’m now in U23 team, but in the future I want to be in the senior national team and get the title again some day.  I can still participate the next U23 tournament, so I want to lead the team for the gold medaltoo. That is my goal in my softball life.

Hong Kong’s pitcher Ling Yuk Sing

Singapore’s coach, Koh Ruoh Jie, was naturally disappointed having to lose to Japan twice in a closely battled match.


“We tried hard, but it was not good enough against the young and energetic  Japanese team,” said Koh.

Philippines Lyonas De Leon

“All is not lost because we did better than last year to finish runners-up and qualify for the World Cup. We now need to go back to the drawing board, as we prepare for the World Cup to be a better team, as the challenge there is going to be much tougher.”


Japan attained their victory with six hits and no errors, while Singapore had two hits, an error and no runs to show.

Bronze Medalist_Philippines

In the bronze medal play-off match, Philippine’s six runs in the bottom of third inning, virtually sealed their victory over Hong Kong.


Philippines’s another run in the in the final inning saw them triumph and book the ticket available for Asia for the World Cup.

Silver medalist Singapore

Philippines coach Jasper Cabrera said that before the match he told the players: “We are disappointed that we lost to Singapore 5-9 and blew our chance to play in the final, and told that players that what is done is done. We have to bounce back strongly against Hong Kong and book the World Cup ticket.


“We may have failed to win the title or at least settle for the silver medal, but we still have to finish on them podium. I told them I believed in the players and told them to bounce back and do Philippines proud and they rose to the occasion.”

All ready for the final.. team Singapore and Japan

And after winning Jasper said: “We are relived to have delivered the bronze we and qualify for the World Cup.


“Winning the slot to the World Cup is just the start of our new journey. We know we have to extra hard.

All ready for the final.. team Singapore and Japan


“We are dedicated to work the extra mike to be the team we need to be to meet them challenges at the World Cup and represent Philippines and Asia better.


“We know that the our association headed by our president Jean Henri Lhuillier and the entire nation is behind us on this journey.”


Asia Cup champions, Japan




Hong Kong 0 Philippines 8

India 1 Singapore 8

Japan 12 Chinese Taipei 0



Bronze medal: PR#3 (Philippines)  7  PR#4 (Hong Kong) 0

Gold medal:     PR#1 (Japan) 4 PR#2 (Singapore) 0




  1. Japan
  2. Singapore


  1. Hong Kong
  2. Chinese Taipei
  3. India


Final Ranking 2022

1st – Japan

2nd – Philippines

3rd – Singapore

4th – India

5th – Hong Kong

6th – Thailand

7th – Chinese Taipei


(The 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed teams on the completion of the Final competition will qualify as the three (3) Asia teams eligible to participate in the WBSC Wold Cup (Group Stage) Men Softball 2024 (host cities and dates to be determined)



Hong Kong 0 Philippines 8

India 1 Singapore 8

Japan 12 Chinese Taipei 0



Singapore 6 Chinese Taipei 2

Hong Kong 10  India 3

Hong Kong 0 Japan 10

Philippines 5 Singapore 9

Japan 6  Philippines 0

India 0 Chinese Taipei 7




Hong Kong 0 Singapore 9

India 1 Philippines 5

India 0 Japan 12

Philippines 7 Chinese Taipei 1

Japan 2 Singapore 0

Hong Kong 7 Chinese Taipei 0