The stage is set for classic finish to the U15 Women’s Softball Asia Cup at the Softball Stadium in Puli Township, Nantou, Chinese Taipei which ends today.
Not only is at stake the inaugural U15 Asia Cup and the coveted title as first winners of this tournament, more importantly is the second spot to the inaugural World Cup in Japan in October.
Japan who have qualified for the final unbeaten and as favourites have earned an automatic berth to the World Cup as host, leaving Chinese Taipei to pick up the first ticket for Asia from the qualifier as the second best team or champion in the tournament.
Thus, the battle is for the second berth to the World Cup, which will be focused on the bronze medal match between Philippines and Korea.
Although Philippines start the match with the advantage and morale booster of having defeated Korea narrowly 2-1 in the Group match, Korea is bent on turning the table on Philippines.
But both coaches of Philippines Annalyn Ebreo and Korea’s Lee SangHyun expressed their confidence of winning.
“We expect an even closer battle against Korea in the bronze medal play-off, but we are prepared for the challenge and believe in ourselves to book the World Cup berth,” said Annalyn.
“It was a close match when we met on Tuesday, and it is going to be no different. But we are better prepared now, as on Tuesday, it was our very first match of the tournament,” said Lee.
“Besides having played Philippines, we have a strategy to over come them. But we are not going to be over confident but work hard for our win, as in all previous matches as we do not treat any opponent lightly or with over confidence. We take one match at a time and now it is time to face Philippines again and we will do our best.”
Philippines yesterday had to play three matches, because of their postponed match from Thursday against Chinese Taipei.
“It has somewhat drained our players a little, but we hope to recover well to be back at our best tomorrow,” said Annalyn.
Philippines went down 3-5 to Chinese Taipei this morning in the postponed match for their first defeat.
But in the remaining two fixtures of the day, against easier opponents Singapore and India they bounced back with 10-1 and 10-0 victories.
Chinese Taipei also suffered their first defeat in the tournament, when they went down in a prelude final to Japan 0-3.
However, Chinese Taipei is expected to comeback rejuvenated and hungry for revenge in front of their home crowd.
Both Chinese Taipei coach Chen Me-Fen and Japan’s Yu Yamamoto, expressed their confidence to wrest the title.
Singapore on the hand chalked their first and only win in the tournament when they defeated India 8-0 for the latter to end the tournament win less after six games.
Hong Kong finished fifth after they had gone down to Japan 0-15 and Philippines 0-10 for their fourth defeat in six games. They won 2-1 against India and Singapore 2-0.
Indeed, a classic day for softball is on the cards tomorrow.
TODAY’S RESULTS (DAY 4 – FRIDAY)
8.00am Philippines 2 Chinese Taipei 4 (Game halted after 2 innings yesterday because pitch unplayable due to rain. Match continued this morning at 7.50am)
(Match continued from yesterday’s postponed tie)
Fulltime Result Philippines 5 Chinese Taipei 3
Japan 10 Korea 0
Philippines 10 Singapore 1
Japan 3 Chinese Taipei 0
India 0 Singapore 8
Hong Kong 0 Philippines 10
TOMORROW FIXTURES (FINAL DAY – SATURDAY)
9.00am Placement: PR#5 (HONG KONG) v PR#6 (SINGAPORE)
11.00am Bronze Medal: PR#3 (PHILIPPINES) v PR#4 (KOREA)
1.00pm Gold Medal: PR#1 (JAPAN) v PR#2 (CHINESE TAIPEI)
3.00pm Awards Ceremony
DAY 1 (June 13 – TUESDAY) RESULTS:
9.00am Philippines 6 India 0
10.30am Japan 14 Singapore 0 (Run ahead win after 4 innings. The U15 plays a total of 5 innings)
12.00 pm Hong Kong 2 India 1
1.30pm Philippines 2 Korea 1
4.00pm Chinese Taipei v Singapore (match postponed owing to unplayable conditions after heavy rain).
DAY 2 (JUNE 14 – WEDNESDAY)
8.00am Chinese 15 Taipei 0 Singapore (postponed match from yesterday due to unplayable conditions after heavy rain).
9.00am Japan 10 India 0
10.30am Korea 17 Hong Kong 2
12.00pm India 0 Chinese Taipei 16
1.30pm Singapore 0 Hong Kong 2
3.00pm Philippines 0 Japan 14
4.30pm Chinese Taipei 9 Korea 0
DAY 3 – (YESTERDAY’S – JUNE 15- RESULTS)
9.00am Korea 14 Singapore 0
10.30am Hong Kong 0 Chinese Taipei 16k
12.00pm India 0 Korea 10
1.30pm Japan 15 Hong Kong 0
3.00pm Philippines 2 Chinese Taipei 4 (Game halted after 2 innings because pitch unplayable due to rain. Match to be continued now tomorrow morning 8am)