Singapore Spoil Philippines Super Sunday Golden Hope
8th December 2019
Singapore turned party poopers to host Philippines when they caused a major upset to defeat the defending champions 6-1 in men’s softball final in the 30th Sea Games competition at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines this morning.
Earlier in the women’s final, Philippines also defending champion defeated Indonesia 8-0 in five innings to set the tone for the Super Sunday Golden medal haul – two gold medals in softball and one in men’s baseball.
But Singapore had different ideas and buoyed by their earlier 4-3 win against Philippines to book their berth in the final, was on fire to clinch their historic gold medal.
In the preliminary round, Philippines has defeated Singapore 6-0 on the opening day of the tournament.
This is the first gold medal won by a Singapore softball team at the SEA Games. The best ever finish for the nation at the Games was a silver clinched by the women’s team in 2007.
The Singapore men’s and women’s teams finished with a bronze medal in 2015, while the Singapore men’s team also bagged bronze in 2011.
In the afternoon, the Philippines men’s baseball, as expected defeated Thailand 15-2 in the final for the second gold medal at The Village grounds.
But Singapore had already spoilt the party for the host by denying them a clean sweep.
Singapore head coach, Diamond Soh Beng Seng said his team had gone to the final confident of defeating Philippines.
“We had worked one whole year for this moment. And our defeat at the hands of Philippines at the World Cup, further made us work hard to win this gold medal at the Sea Games.
“The players trained hard and were exposed to top level matches as we travelled abroad and we have to thank for the funding given by the Sports Council.
“The players fully deserve this victory for all the hard work they have put in.”
Philippines is ranked 17th in the world ranking, while Singapore is ranked 22nd.
Philippines coach cum player Apolinio Rosales said the Singapore pitcher (Aloysius Ong) single handedly destroyed them.
“The pitcher was in his element and never gave us a chance,” said Rosales whose team had only one hit as compared to Singapore’s 9.
“Our errors too caused us the game.
“I apologise to fans for having let them down,” said Rosales who was also sad that he could not give the gold medal to his wife Marife, who returned on Friday from New Jersey, USA, where she is working as a care-giver, to watch him and his son (Justine) in in action and give her morale support.
Pitcher Aloysius Ong, who was supported by his father, former Singapore national men’s fastpitch pitcher Ong Bin, struck out six players in seven innings to help his team mates who made nine hits to score three runs in the third inning, two in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Shortstop Mohammad Huzaifah had a three-hit game, with his team mates left-fielder Dominic Han having a one-hit game which scored three crucial runs in the third to open the scoring.
In the women’s final Philippines scored eight runs in the second inning with seven hits to win the gold medal.
The hits were spread out among first base Angelie Urshabia, third base Alliane Vallestero, catcher Franchesca Altomonte and shortstop Garie Blando.
It was Philippines 10th win in the Sea Games.
Philippines coach, Venerando Dizer, who missed Saturday’s game against Malaysia to attend his son’s wedding in Boracay, said it was a great present for his son’s wedding.
“This is a great team with great future and we hope to get more funding to develop this team to being among the top 10 in the world,” said Randy as he is affectionately known.
Philippines are currently ranked 13th in the world.
“We had everything going for us today and I am proud of the team.”
Heat Gets The Better of Indonesia Men
7th December 2019 – Day 6
The pressure to make the final coupled with the morning heat, got the better of the Indonesian men’s team, when shortstop, Bambang Dwitama, was ejected at the top of the fifth inning against Philippines in 30th Sea Games competitions at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines this morning.
It was Philippines who qualified to the final with their 9-0 win over five innings to defend their title won at the 2015 Games, while Indonesia had to settle for the bronze medal.
In the incident, play had to be halted for several minutes, as umpires and tournament officials tried to get the situation under control and commence with the game.
The situation blew up as Bambang handled third base umpire Jan Chao-Hsu after a misunderstanding with him and while some Indonesian players and officials together with the umpires tried to get the situation under control, a few players and officials joined in the fray.
But the situation was eventually brought under control and the game continued.
Low Beng Choo, the technical delegate to the championship and also Softball Asia president, said that the game has zero tolerance to violent conduct and was disappointed that such a situation had erupted in the Sea Games softball competition.
“We at Softball Asia and the World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC), take violent conduct in the sports very seriously. We will wait for the report from the Technical Commissioner and umpires, before we study the report and take whatever decision needs to be taken,” said Low who is also the secretary-general of WBSC.
Indonesian team manager Iwan Duyiharto Suharidi, apologised for the incident, which he said happened in the heat of the moment.
“This incident should have never happened, but the player lost his cool over a misunderstanding with the umpire. But the umpire too, could have handled the situation better by engaging the player,” claimed Iwan.
“We have apologised to the umpires and our opponent Philippines for the incident.”
For Philippines the incident did not deter them one bit as they beat Indonesia convincingly to book their place in the final for a rematch against Singapore, who has defeated them narrowly 4-3 on Friday to book their place in Grand Final.
In the preliminary round Philippines has defeated Singapore 6-0.
Today for Philippines, the Apolonio family – coach cum player Rosales and his son Justine – contributed two hits and two RBIs between them.
The game featured three families – the Apolonios, the Riparips (Gino and Gerone) and the Pagkaliwagans (Michael and Marlon) – who all played a part in the Philippines’ victory.
Rosales was even more elated because he had his wife Marife, who returned on Friday from New Jersey, USA, where she is working as a care-giver, to watch him and his son in in action and give morale support.
Also present was his 12-yer-old daughter, Muque, who plays for national age-group team to witness the victory.
“It will be really something very special if we defend our title tomorrow by beating Singapore to win the gold,” said Rosales.
In the women’s category Malaysia’s run came to an end today, when they lost 5-1 to Indonesia in the playoff to reach the finals.
Although Malaysia scored first through Ong Hooi Fen, Indonesia came in the bottom of the fourth inning with five runs (as a result of two hits) to enter the finals against the Philippines tomorrow.
Although both teams had five hits apiece, Indonesia committed fewer errors (just one to Malaysia’s four) to win the game.
Indonesia in the preliminary round had lost 1-11 to Philippines.
Everything points to a Super Sunday for Philippines to bag both the men and women softball gold and the baseball men’s too.
A Day of Twist of Events
6th December 2019 – Day 5
It was a day of mixed fortunes for countries vying for a podium finish in the men and women’s 30th Sea Games competitions at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines today.
While host Philippines and defending champions saw their women’s team book their place in the Grand Final defeating Malaysia 12-0 over four innings, their men’s team were shocked by Singapore in a very close contest as they went down 3-4 and have play tomorrow for a second chance to make the Grand finals.
In the preliminary round, Singapore had lost to Philippines 0-8.
Singapore having booked their place in the men’s Grand final will now await the winners between Philippines and Indonesia who defeated Thailand 5-3 in the match between the 3rd placed and 4th placed in the Group.
While the Singapore men’s team are in the final, their women’s team blew their chance for a shot for the Grand final or at worst settle for a bronze medal, when they lost to Indonesia 8-4 over seven innings and had to settle for fourth spot in the competition of five countries.
In the preliminary round Singapore had edged Indonesia 1-0.
Indonesia will now play Malaysia tomorrow morning for the shot to final or settle for bronze medal.
The Indonesian men’s team will play host Philippines for a place in the Grand final or settle for bronze medal.
In the preliminary round, Philippines had defeated Indonesia 7-3.
An interesting clash is on the cards tomorrow, as the Philippines men’s team will be eyeing to make the final to accompany their women’s team, while the Indonesian teams – both men and women – will be eyeing to make a double grand final for them too.
Malaysia, on the other hand, will be the surprise team to make the women’s final if they defeat Indonesia.
Today, Malaysia said that they were saving their best for tomorrow as they felt that Philippines was far superior to them and did not want to tire themselves trying to defeat them.
“We are already assured a bronze medals which is already and achievement for the team. We now want to go one step further to reach the final and see ourselves having a better chance with our match against Indonesia to reach the final and eye for the silver,” said Malaysian head coach Ong Lian Bee.
“Besides, we rested out top pitcher Ngo Siew Ting who is recovering from an arm strain and also rested Maisarah Ilham whom we fielded as pitcher only for one inning.
“It is not going to be easy with Indonesia, but we have an even chance.”
In the preliminary round, Malaysian narrowly edged Indonesia 5-3.
Indonesian coach, Michael Trsisnadi said that his team played extremely well to down Singapore today and is looking forward to an equally impressive performance against Malaysia tomorrow.
“Malaysia is the surprise team in the tournament and have done well here. It is going to be close and we have to be at our best. Their pitchers are good and their batters are daring to take hits. We have to tread with caution,” said Michael.
Philippines coach assistant coach Ana Maria Santiago who was standing in for head coach Venerando Dizer who took leave today to attend his son’s wedding in Boracay, said that the team has been improving with each passing game and looking forward to defend the title.
“It does not matter who we meet in the final. We are on a roll after a slow start and everything looks good for us to defend our title successfully,” said Ana Maria.
The Philippines men’s team manager, Eufracio Dela Cruz said that they defeat to Singapore in a close match (3-4) was a blessing in disguise.
“It is a timely wake-up call for the team. I am glad that we lost today than in the final,” said Dela Cruz.
“This defeat will allow us to reflect on the loss and come back stronger against Indonesia for our second shot to reach the Grand final.
“I am confident we will bounce back from today’s defeat and book our place in the final.”
Singapore’s head coach Diamond Soh, on the other hand said that reaching the final is already an achievement as at the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore, they were bronze medallist.
“Now that we are in the final, we will be going for broke. Our win over Philippines, the defending champions has further boosted our morale,” said Diamond.
“In all probability, we will meet Philippines in the final, and it is going to be an another close match. Philippines as host and defending champions are surely going to look at turning the tables on us.
“But we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Diamond’s parting shot.
Philippines 12 Malaysia 0
Singapore 4 Indonesia 8
Philippines 3 Singapore 4
Indonesia 5 Thailand 3.
Tomorrow’s Bronze Medal and spot for Grand finals (winner advance to finals and loser is bronze medallist:
Indonesia v Malaysia
Indonesia v Philippines
Finalist on Sunday:
Philippines v (winner of Indonesia v Malaysia)
Singapore v (winner of Indonesia v Philippines)
Malaysia Create History for Podium Finish
5th December 2019 – Day 4
Malaysia staged a dramatic comeback victory 5-4 over Singapore in sudden-death eighth inning to create history to for the first time ever to return home with a medal at the 30th Sea Games softball competition at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
This was the postponed match from Tuesday when it was rained off with unplayable conditions before the end of first inning.
Malaysia with the victory finished runners-up with three wins and a loss at the end of the five countries preliminary round, with Philippines emerging tops unbeaten.
The Malaysian team celebrated as if they had won the gold medal after their narrow win and it was understandable as they have never won a medal in the softball competition whenever included in the Games.
Softball is normally included when Philippines and Philippines host the Games, while Singapore included in 2015 – the last time softball was contested and Philippines emerged champions.
Malaysia will now play Philippines tomorrow and the winner will qualify for the final on Sunday. The loser will play the winner between third placed Singapore and Indonesia for the other final berth on Saturday, while the loser will win the bronze medal.
Malaysia’s third base player J. Pavthraadevi who has been outstanding for her team in this tournament, once again rose to the occasion to save her team from the jaw of defeat.
It was Singapore who played home who drew first blood when they led with two runs after then second inning.
Malaysia pulled back one run in third inning but the Lions had two runs to still lead 4-1.
In the fifth inning, Malaysia brought home two runs for 4-3 before at the top of the seventh inning, Pavithraadevi hit a solo home run to tie the score at 4-4.
The winning run was scored during the tie-break in the eighth inning by Halfa Chin who was pinch-running for Nur Fateha.
“This is a great day for us. We came here as underdogs and now we are in line for a podium finish,” said an elated 20-year-old Pavithraadevi who hails from Penang.
“When it was my turn to bat in the final inning, I knew I had to carry the team and had to make it count. And I am glad I executed the shot well for a home run,” said Pavithraadevi who come from mixed parentage of her father who is Indian and mother Chinese.
“But it was a team effort. We never gave up although we were down, we never gave up,” said Pavithraadevi who competed in the 2017 Games in javelin and finished fourth.
Malaysia’s head coach Ong Lian Bee now believes his team will give Philippines a run for their money tomorrow
“We may have lost (1-8) against Philippines earlier, but we gave them a good fight. Now with a place in the final, I am confident the players will raise their game further. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Ong.
In the men’s category, in the other postponed match from Tuesday, the Singapore team had some consolation when they finished runners up in the Group with their 13-0 win in four innings over winless Thailand.
Philippines finished tops unbeaten in four teams Group.
Philippines On A Roll
4th December 2019 – Day 3
Philippines women’s team finished tops unbeaten with four consecutive wins at the end of the preliminary matches today with a 7-0 victory over Thailand at the 30th Sea Games softball competition at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
But coach Venerando Dizier who has been largely instrumental in moulding the team to a powerhouse will not be around for page round match on Friday’s and semifinals on Saturday.
Not that he is confident of his team’s victory on the two days and make the final that he is taking a rest, but he has to attend his only son, 32-year-old Nikko’s wedding in Boracay on Friday
“The wedding was planned much earlier before the Sea Games fixtures came out and he is my only son and I cannot miss it,” said Dizier who is affectionately called Randy.
“But I will be back for the final on Sunday. I have capable assistants in Ana Maria Santiago, Ronelon Pagkaliwagan and Anthony Santos who will coach the team in my absence,” said the 60-year-old Randy.
“The team after a subdued performance in the opening match have picked up in the last two matches are now on the roll.
“We do not underestimate any of our opponents, but just believe in our strength.”
Philippines have defeated Singapore 6-0, Indonesia 11-1, Malaysia 8-1 and today’s 11-0 win over Thailand.
On Friday’s match Philippines will play the second placed team after the preliminary rounds which will only be decided tomorrow in the match between Singapore and Malaysia which was postponed on Tuesday following heavy rain which made the pitch playable.
Malaysia have emerged the surprise team on the tournament who now have a chance to finish second after their 5-3 win over Indonesia this evening.
They after their opening match defeat to Philippines (8-1) defeated Thailand narrowly 2-1 before today’s win.
“The team has been improving with each passing match and we feel we have an even chance against Singapore tomorrow to emerge victors,” said Malaysian coach Ong Lian Bee.
It was Malaysia’s third base J. Pavithraadevi who turned the most valuable player for the year who turned the tide for Malaysia in the fifth inning when Malaysia were trailing 2-1.
Pavithraadevi who hit a home run and a three-base hit and she scored two runs off Elsa Chew who hit a single.
Ong Su Jun and Lee Shu En who both pinch ran for Nurul Amira and Nur Syahirah respectively
Ong Su Hui contributed with a two-base hit which brought in Elsa and Su Jun.
In men’s category, the Philippines team too finished tops with their third consecutive 7-0 win against Singapore and the father-son combination once again played a key role in the victory where they scored four of the eight runs in the win.
Justine Rosales, the son made one of the three hits and stole a base. Father, coach cum player, Apolonio Rosales, was the designated hitter while Justine Rosales played second base instead of his usual position of shortstop.
Philippines scored four runs in the first inning and four in the fourth to end the game in five innings.
Singapore look set to finish second with their last postponed game against Thailand tomorrow morning. Thailand have lost both their matched – against Philippines (0-11) and Indonesia (0-7).
Everything points to a Super Sunday with Philippines the defending champions from 2015 (there was no softball at the 2017 Games) making a clean sweep.
Father Son Combination Steal The Show
3rd December 2019 – Day 2
The Philippines men’s team combination of a father and son playing together stole the limelight of the second day the 30th Sea Games softball competition despite two matches in the afternoon postponed following heavy rain which made the pitch playable at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
The Blu Boys, the nickname of the Philippines team, have head coach Apolonio Rosales, 42, who doubles up on third place playing with his 16-year-old son, Justine John Rosales, an infielder.
Today Philippines the defending champions from 2015 (there was no softball at the 2017 Games) today chalked their second consecutive when they defeated Indonesia 7-3 after having earlier defeated Thailand 11-0 on the opening day on Monday.
In the 4th inning senior Rosales hit a sacrifice fly to the centre field to bring home his son Justine who had hit a three base hit just before that for Philippines 1st run.
In the 6th inning, Rosales hit a second base hit and came home later to score a run.
Philippines were trailing by two runs by Indonesia in the fourth inning, before gaining another two runs in the fifth before completing their runs with another four in the sixth after Indonesia increased to three runs with another. With Indonesia failing to gain any runs in the final innings, Philippines triumphed.
“I have been coaching my son since he was seven and started to play with me in the local competition last year and this is the first time we are playing together in the national team,” said Rosales who coached the Philippines to victory at the 2015 Sea Games.
Rosales was coaching an Indonesian club after the Sea Games and was there for four years before he was recalled to coach the Philippines national team this year.
“Playing with my son has added pressure on besides being a coach. I have to ensure that I play well to motivate him and the team as a whole.
“But I am enjoying it, has it pushes me to bring out my best all the time.”
Justine on the other hand said he was enjoying every moment playing with his father with the national team.
“Playing with him is normal as I have played in the local competition. But playing with him with the national team in the Sea Games is an honour and a rare moment because I do not think there has been another pair like this in previous Games,” said Justine.
Justine also has a sister, Muque who is 12 years-old and plays for national age-group team.
Saturday is going to be a special day for Rosales and Justine, because wife and mother – Marife – will be back from New Jersey where she is working as a care-giver, to watch them in action.
“It is going to be a special moment for us and look forward to defending the gold on Sunday. Having her to witness us play together is really going to be touching and we look forward to present the gold medal to her as our love and gesture for her presence,” said Rosales.
Philippines play Singapore tomorrow in their final preliminary game today.
Singapore’s match against Thailand was rained off today and will play on Thursday.
In the women’s category, Malaysia kept their hopes of a medal with a narrow 2-1 victory over Thailand.
Malaysia’s coach Ong Kian Bee was happy with his team’s performance despite the narrow win and was confident of another victory over Indonesia tomorrow to stay on target for a medal.
Indonesia today lost 11-1 to Philippines after their opening game 4-2 victory over Thailand. Tomorrow they have two matches – against Singapore and Malaysia.
Thailand 1 Malaysia 2
Philippines 11 Indonesia 1
Singapore Malaysia (postponed)
Philippines 7 Indonesia 3
Singapore Thailand (postponed)
Softball Competition Hit By Heavy Rain
3rd December 2019 – Day 2
The 30th Sea Games softball competition saw two matches on day 2 this afternoon postponed to the rest day on Thursday following heavy rain which made the pitch unplayable at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
The men’s match between Singapore and Thailand was stopped at 2,20pm after the end of the first inning and after waiting for the mandatory half an hour, technical delegate Low Beng Choo, who is also the Softball Asia president decided to postpone the match.
On the other pitch, the women’s match between Malaysia and Singapore started as scheduled at 2.30pm, but before the end of the first inning, the match was halted.
“There was no lightning, but the pitch became unplayable and with rain not easing up, we decided to postpone the match and play on our rest day on Thursday,” said Beng Choo, who is also the secretary-general of the World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC).
“The women’s match began as schedule at 2.30pm because the pitch was still playable, but after a while of play, it became unplayable and we halted it and with rain getting heavier, we decided to postpone the match.
“We will resume tomorrow with our scheduled third and final day of our preliminary fixtures and play the postponed matches on Thursday.
“I do not expect any more postponements tomorrow as we have been monitoring the weather ourselves too and understand that it tail-end of the typhoon which caused the heavy rain here and it was not serious as we are far away from the actual place the typhoon hit land.”
Typhoon Kammuri known locally as Typhoon Tisoy struck late Monday which prompted the authorities to close the country’s largest airport – Ninoy Aquino International Airport for 12 hours due to powerful winds and heavy rain as a contingency measure.
The storm’s eyewall made landfall on the southern eastern part of Luzon this morning
The Philippines Sea Games Organsing Committee (PHILSGOC) had several competitions rescheduled as a contingency measure today in Subic which included beach volleyball, canoe/kayak, pencak silat, triathlon/duathlon, modern pentathlon and surfing.
The storm continues across Luzon and is expected to veer south into the South China Sea tomorrow morning.
Philippines Concerned Despite Win
2nd December 2019 – Day 1
It was a winning start for both men and women Philippines’ team on the opening day of the 30th Sea Games softball competition at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines, but they were still not happy.
Philippines beat Singapore 6-0 over seven innings in the women’s category, while in the men’s, they disposed of Thailand 11-0 over five innings.
“It is good to start on a winning note, but both the officials and players are not happy with their overall performances,” said Venerando Dizer, head coach of the Philippines’ women team.
“We were not under-estimating our opponents, but we had expected to win by big scores based on the ability of our teams.
“It could be opening game jitters, but it is being no excuse because the players are much more capable.”
In the women’s category, Philippines got their first run in the second inning before adding on two runs each in the third and fourth before final run in sixth inning for a 6-0 win.
In the men’s, Philippines opened up with an impressive five runs in the first inning, before securing another four in the third and two in the fifth to wrap up the game 11-0.
“We could have been more consistent in our performance and wrapped up the game earlier,” said Dizer.
Dizier was hoping for an improved performance in their second match of the day in the afternoon against Malaysia, but despite their 8-1 win over six innings, he was still not happy.
Philippines had another run in the third inning and went two innings without any runs, before sealing the game with three runs in the sixth inning.
“We allowed Malaysia to lead by one run in the first inning before we had four runs in the second inning and had the game stretched to six innings before we won” said Dizier.
“We need to buck up. We have having problems with our pitching which had always been our forte and were not consistent in our performance.”
Malaysia on the other hand despite the defeat was in high spirits.
Philippines play Indonesia tomorrow who had defeated Thailand 4-2 in their opening game this morning.
“In the past we used to be thrashed by Philippines and saw our matches end after three or four innings.
Today we scored the first run today, hit many balls although we caught out and we stretched the game to six innings,” said Malaysian head coach Ong Lian Bee.
Malaysian captain and pitcher Ngo Siew Ting was equally elated and said that despite the loss, they have reasons to be proud of.
“Not only we had the first run of the game against a formidable team like Philippines, but our girls were hitting the ball which many teams have found it difficult against them,” Ong.
“This performance will definitely motivate us to perform in our remaining matches and we want to return with a medal.”
Thailand suffered their second defeat of the day when they went down to Singapore 6-2.
Malaysia meet Singapore tomorrow and will definitely will be an explosive match as the rivalry between the countries is always intense.
In the men’s group, Singapore was on fire yesterday as they downed Indonesia 10-2 in five innings.
The star of the Singaporeans was Foo Say Kian who had two home run hits in the first inning and third, while another home run was hit by Ziglar Oh in the third inning too.
Singapore had two runs in the first inning, followed by four each in the third and fourth, while Indonesia only two runs came in the third inning.
Singapore take on Thailand tomorrow, while Philippines will play Indonesia.
Philippines 6 Singapore 0
Indonesia 4 Thailand 2
Philippines 8 Malaysia 1
Singapore 6 Thailand
Philippines 11 Thailand 0
Indonesia 2 Singapore 10
Host Philippines Overwhelming Favourites
1st December 2019 – Preview
Philippines are not taking nothing for granted to emerge as gold medallists in 30th Sea Games softball competition which begins tomorrow morning (Monday) at The Villages, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
“We may be host, have home ground advantage and support from the local fans, but all that will come to nought, if we take things for granted and let our socks down,” said Venerando Dizer, head coach of the Philippines’ Women team.
“All teams competing here will be going all out to defeat us and will be working doubly hard to achieve that.
“Of course we want to continue to dominate in both the men and women’s competition, but with that comes the pressure. We need to manage that well and not fall into the trap of succumbing to the pressure.
“We cannot afford to treat any opponent lightly. We have to work hard in every game and move forward to do better with each passing match.”
The Philippine women’s team were a powerhouse in Asia never placing outside the top 10 in the global rankings during the 1970s although the Philippines were always ranked behind Japan.
Their greatest achievement at that time was the third-place finish at the Women’s Softball World Championship in 1970. In the 1974 edition they were placed fourth.
In the Sea Games they have been ruling, having won all gold medals in all editions of the SEA Games when the competition was held.
Dzier picked Singapore as the toughest opponent in the women’s category, while saying that Thailand could spring a few surprises.
In the women’s category, five countries are competing namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines.
In the men’s category, four teams are competing namely Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand and Dzier also picked Singapore as the team who could give them anxious moments.
Singapore naturally were flattered with Dzier’s respect for them, but their men’s coach Diamond Soh Beng Seng said that Philippines without doubt start the tournament at favourites.
“We are bronze medallists in both the men and women’s categories at the 2015 Games when we hosted it. Naturally we are looking forward to bettering that performance. Silver medals would be great, but it will not be use,” said Diamond Soh.
“We will definitely be going all out to better our bronze medal win in 2015, but it is going to be tough work,” said Singapore’s women’s coach Zhang Chun Fang.
Thailand’s coach men’s team coach Phakpom Sakulwong said his team has come here well prepared is looking to creating a few surprised.
Indonesia, the bronze medallist in men’s category in 2015 too cannot be rules out to make it an interesting championship with keen competition.
The next three days of preliminary round certainly is expected to see some exciting days.
This afternoon, Low Beng Choo, the technical delegate to the championship, who is also the Softball Asia president and secretary-general of the World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC) conducted the team managers meeting.