SINGAPORE 6 PHILIPPINES 5
IT was an intriguing, interesting, challenging, tactical, a battle of nerves and a close call match, and it was Singapore who emerged victors in the last inning from a come from behind 4-5 to win 6-5 against Philippines in the deciding Group B match to emerge tops.
Singapore had to dig deep and rely on the hitters Ean Eu An, Marcus Chen, Dominic Han and Mohamad Huzaifie to deliver in the final inning either to force the game to be decided by a tie breaker inning or win outright with two runs and they delivered to the agony of Philippines.
Philippines who had the upper hand with a run lead (5-4) from the 5th inning, had the opportunity to increase their lead but blew it time and again as nerves and anxiety got the better of them.
In the end mistakes turned out to be the decider of the winner and Philippines paid the price.
For Philippines, the defeat came back to haunt them as they were defeated in the Sea Games final at Clark in Philippines in 2019.
The Philippines team was disbanded the very next day after their defeat then and had come to Japan with a fresh young team comprising 70 percent with just four senior players.
They had come here to launch their comeback trail in the sport and but Singapore had different ideas.
Philippines coach Apolonio Rosales tried every trick in his book to overcome Singapore, which included using three different pitchers to offset Singapore.
While Rosales started with talented youngster Leo Barredo and then replaced him with another youngster Dela Cruz Juliuz before finally using veteran pitcher Parco Reagan from the fifth inning to bank on his experience, Singapore maintained with their fast and consistent pitcher Aloysius Ong, who had played instrumental part in Philippines defeat at the Sea Games.
“It was strategy to continue to use Aloysius throughout the game because he was our best pitcher and he knew the Philippines team style of play,’ said Singapore coach Koh Ruoh Jie.
“Aloysius may have slowed down towards the end because it was tiring for him, but we persisted with him, as we were confident with our batters to deliver.
“It was a close battle and we could have made it easier, but in the end we delivered and that is what matters.”
Philippines on the other hand, we blaming themselves for throwing away the chances they had to wrap up the game and in the end mistakes cost them the game.
Singapore as top of the Group will now play hosts Japan who topped Group A and India who were the surprise runners-up, while their victory over Philippines will be carried forward to the Super round league format where the top two will play in the final and the 3rd and 4th placed for the bronze medal.
The top two teams also qualify as Asia’s representative to the World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand in December.
JAPAN CONTINUES DOMINATION
JAPAN 10 CHINESE TAIPEI 0
DEMOLITION machine Japan crushed Chinese Taipei 10-0 in four innings in a runs ahead victory for their third consecutive in Group A match of the 11th Men Softball Asian Cup 2022 (World Cup qualifier) at the Yasumani Sports Complex in Shimanto City, Kochi to top the Group and qualify for the Super Round.
Yesterday, Japan had defeated India 14-0 and Hong Kong 24-0.
Japan, ranked World No 2, were simply too good for their opponents and it will be a major upset if they fail to wrest then title and qualify for the World Cup in November inn Auckland, New Zealand.
In the Super Round, Japan will have for company Singapore and Philippines, as India, the other team in the Super round, will not play Japan, as their result against Japan (0-14) will be carried forward to the Super Round.
India were were indeed the surprise team to qualify for the Super round as they disposed of Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong to finish runners-up in Group B.
In the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei, Japan led with five runs from the first inning before getting three in the second inning before wrapping up the game with a run in third and fourth inning for a runs ahead rule victory.`
Philippines 10 Thailand 0
Japan 10 Chinese Taipei 0
India 5 Hong Kong 2
Singapore 6 Philippines 5
STANDINGS AFTER PRELIMINARY ROUND
- Hong Kong
- Chinese Taipei
TOMORROW SUPER ROUND AND PLACING MATCHES FIXTURES
9.00AM: Japan v Philippines (Shimanto Stadium)
9.00AM: Singapore v India (Yasumani Field)
11.30AM: Chinese Taipei v Thailand (Shimanto Stadium)
2.00PM: Japan v Singapore (Shimanto Stadium)
2.00PM: India v Philippines (Yasumani Field)