Tag Archive | "Philippines"

Help a Baseball School in the Philippines – Donate Today


I don’t normally do this, but I feel this is a good cause. So, I am asking the readers of BaseballdeWorld to help out our friends at the Future Stars Baseball School in the Philippines.

Marvin Moore has continued to be a great asset to this site writing articles on European leagues. He is now running a baseball school to benefit the children of Bohol Island in the Philippines. With the help of his wife and others on the island, Marvin has created a school where kids can learn English, get a meal, and learn the great game that we all love. But running a baseball school like this is not easy or cheap.

So that is why I am writing you. I am asking that you do what you can. Every dollar, euro, pound, or won helps and it goes straight to the kids. With the little league season fast approaching (yes Marvin has started a summer league program as well) the kids could use your help.

So go on over to Future Stars Baseball School and click donate. Even if it’s $1 or $5, the kids will benefit.

We here at BaseballdeWorld are donating all of our ad revenues to the school as well.  It’s our little way of saying thanks to Marvin and his crew for doing a great job in bettering the life’s of young children.

So help us out. If you are unable to give at this time, please spread the word. Tweet, re-tweet, email, share this on Face Book, or your own blog and let’s see if we can raise some money for the school.

Our goal is to raise $1,000. If you donate, comment, send us an email, a tweet, or Face Book message and we will include you in our Thank You message when we reach $1,000. When donating if you could please include a small note that you are donating through BaseballdeWorld so we can keep track and hopefully reach our goal.

If you would like to do more, please contact Marvin Moore through the Future Stars Baseball School. I know he will be more than happy to work with anyone who would like to donate equipment or anything that can be used at the school.

You can also keep up with the school on their Face Book page and on Twitter.

Thanks to all our readers for their help and generosity.

Eric Bynum
Managing Editor

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Philippines: Manila grabs historic third straight championship


By Reuben Terrado

Manila recorded history becoming the first team in Baseball Philippines to win three straight titles after sweeping the Series 8 championship by defeating Cebu, 10-4, in Game 2 Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Game 1 winning pitcher Jon Jon Robles made his presence felt on offense with three RBIs en route to their third crown in the league organized by Community Sports Inc. and sponsored by Pepsi, Gatorade and Rawlings.

Robles pushed the go-ahead run in the fourth inning before advancing two runners home in a pivotal five-run seventh that broke the game wide open for the Sharks.

Coach Jhoel Palanog said that the “dynasty” of the Harbour Centre-backed franchise was not possible without the commitment and sacrifice by the team.

“We assumed from Day 1 that we are going to the finals. There were struggles during practice and even with the finances but the commitment was there to make history,” said Palanog.

Saxon Omandac was named the Series 8 Finals Most Valuable Player for his consistent hitting in the two games of the finals for Manila but pitching and defense was also a key for Sharks after allowing 15 hits in two games.

“Cebu’s bench is really deep in terms of hitting. They are known for that so I entrusted the game plan of the pitchers to them and it worked,” Palanog said.

The league is also backed by Harbour Centre, The Heritage Park, Emperador Distillers, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Victory Liner and Clark Development Corp.

The game started two hours late due to a rain delay but that situation had little effect on the Sharks, who took the lead for good when Robles pushed Edward Landicho home on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

Dark clouds also came into play but that didn’t stop the Sharks from padding their lead as Jennald Pareja and Robles hit two-run singles in the tail end of the five-run scoring binge in the seventh.

Manila scored two runs in the second before an RBI hit by Marvin Malig in the next frame made it 3-0 but an RBI hit by Jonash Ponce and a two-run single by starting pitcher Edmer Del Socorro tied the game up at the bottom of the third.

But Del Socorro issued a single to Landicho and walking Pareja and Christian Galedo to load the bases setting up Robles’ sac fly in the fourth.

The league is also supported by Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, Philippine Umpires Association and dzSR Sports Radio 918.

For details, log on to www.baseballphilippines.com and www.facebook.com/baseballphilippines.

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: ‘Big Daddy’ Corcuera is Series 8 MVP


By Jonas Terrado

First baseman Miggy Corcuera not only led the Cebu Dolphins back to the finals but also won the league’s most prestigious individual honor.

The first baseman, dubbed as ‘Big Daddy’ for his burly appearance and power swing, was named as Baseball Philippines Series 8?s Most Valuable Player prior to the second game of the league’s championship series.

In perhaps the best campaign of his BP career, Corcuera batted .360 with three home runs and 11 RBIs as Cebu returned to the finals for the fifth time in history before bowing to the Manila Sharks in their best-of-three series.

Corcuera, an entrepreneurship graduate at San Beda, led the league in both categories to win the Most Home Run and Most RBI awards.

Cebu was glad to have the Corcuera regain his timely contributions on offense after the Dolphins struggled in Series 7 despite entering the semifinals.

He is the first Dolphin to win the award since current teammate Joseph Orillana won the honors in Series 4.

Orillana, a two-time MVP, was named as the Best Pitcher of Series 8 after posting three victories, striking out 25 batters and had an ERA of 1.01.

Speedy centerfielder Jonash Ponce returned from a devastating knee injury in Series 7 to win the Most Stolen Bases award. Ponce had seven stolen bases during the elims.

Taguig third baseman Denver Largo was the league’s Best Hitter after posting a .428 batting average and had a slugging percentage of .485.

Champion coach Jhoel Palanog was again named Best Manager after steering the Manila Sharks to an 8-2 record in the elims while Ricky Bernabe, who called the balls and strikes in the title-clinching Game 2, was the Best Umpire of the tourney.

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: Manila gets past Taguig to return to the BP finals


By Reuben Terrado

The Manila Sharks, a team who on their quest to win their third straight championship and had only one loss in 10 elimination round matches, were expected to cruise to the finals against the Taguig Patriots, a team who is entering the semifinals for the first time since Series 4.

Surprisingly though, last July 16, the Sharks had to work hard for another trip to the finals.

Behind their defense that have been a hallmark of the team, the Sharks beat the Patriots with a close 2-0 decision at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium to advance to the finals of the Baseball Philippines Series 8.

The Sharks got an unexpected stiff challenge as the Patriots kept it close. In the end, Taguig could not score behind the defense of Manila.

On the offensive end, Marvin Malig blasted two RBIs on run-scoring hits in the first and eighth inning, enough for the Sharks to take the win.

But the difference of the game Manila stranding eight runners on base to stave off Taguig’s run-scoring bids all game.

Manila starting pitcher Charlie Labrador and reliever Jon Jon Robles allowed a total of five hits preventing the Patriots from putting runs on the board.

“We had a hard time with Taguig’s defense and we haven’t played for almost a month. But we will always depend on pitching and defense and that is what the team showed,” said Manila coach Jhoel Palanog.

The loss spoiled Taguig starting pitcher Justin Payongayong’s complete game as he allowed seven hits but failed to get the run support from his teammates.

Jennald Pareja forced a lead-off walk and reached second on a groundout by Nino Tator before crossing home plate when Malig blasted a single to left center field.

Malig hit a bloop single to shallow left field in the eighth inning to also score Pareja after he singled and advanced to third base on a single by Christian Galedo.

Taguig looked poise to tie the game in the second inning when Ka’Sulhay Argel reached third base with one out but failed to cross home plate on a base running blunder before Labrador got back to his pitching resolve to end the inning.

Alfredo Olivarez also reached third base in the fourth inning with no outs but Labrador got out of the jam putting out the next three batters to strand Olivarez.

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: Dolphins rout Bulls to clinch finals spot


By Reuben Terrado

The Cebu Dolphins are heading back to the Baseball Philippines finals after dispatching the Batangas Bulls, 9-2, last July 16 in the Series 8 semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Dolphins amassed 15 hits in a rout of the shorthanded Bulls to return to the finals after a one-series absence.

After losing to Manila in the finals of Series 6, Cebu missed the Series 7 title series after getting eliminated by Batangas in the semifinals.

With the win, Cebu will be facing Manila again on July 23 to start off the best-of-three championship series at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Cebu starter Joseph Orillana allowed five hits in an eight-inning shutout against a Batangas team without its top slugger Vio Roxas, who is coaching a Philippine little league team abroad.

Jonash Ponce and Miggy Corcuera, meanwhile, blasted big hits in the second and sixth innings respectively to put the game away from the Bulls.

Orillana singled and Joannard Pareja earned a walk before Ponce blasted a 2-1 pitch by Batangas starter Vladymir Eguia to deep center field to clear the bases.

Richard Gamble made it 3-0 in the fifth inning after he singled to score Corcuera, who doubled to put himself in scoring position.

The Dolphins made a big splurge with four runs at the next half highlighted by Corcuera’s blast of the second pitch of reliever Romeo Jasmin for a two-run double to score Lorenzo Ubungen and Edmer Del Socorro. Pareja scored on an earlier at-bat on a steal by Ubungen while Corcuera, who crossed home plate on an error for a 7-0 lead.

Adding two more runs to the game is Del Socorro as he doubled in the seventh in the seventh on a double to score Orillana and Nico Uichico for the insurance runs.

Carlo Banzon and Justin Zialcita finally provided runs for the Bulls in the eighth inning but that was not enough to start a big comeback as Del Socorro came in relief of Orillana in the ninth inning and struck out two batters to end the game.

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: Manila beats Alabang to Take Top Spot


Manila cemented its place in the number one spot defeating Alabang, 13-6, last July 2 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Sharks pulled away in the eighth inning scoring five runs to notch their ninth win in 10 outings and clinch the top spot in the league.

The Manila-Alabang tussle was a resumption of their called-off match last May 8 due to heavy rains with the Sharks leading, 8-4.

Alabang’s Carlos Laurel did well early on during the resumption of the game allowing only two hits from the fifth to seventh inning.

But with Alabang not giving run support, Manila took advantage when Carlos Munoz replaced Laurel on the mound in the eighth inning. Fernando Badrina walked, Saxon Omandac singled and Rommel Roja singled to load the bases.

The three scored with Omandac scoring on a Christian Galedo’s RBI single as Galedo and Inobio scored on errors to add two more runs.

Manila’s Roel Baclay picked up from where he left off when the game resumed in the fifth inning as he allowed no hits in two innings. Allen Dizon did the same thing as he didn’t allow a hit in two innings of relief after entering the seventh inning.

Jon Jon Robles gave up two runs—one unearned—but he was undaunted as he struck out the final batter to end the game.

By Reuben Terrado

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Website of the Week – Baseball Philippines


Baseball is alive and well in the Philippines and is covered by the great writers at the site Baseball Philippines. Here you can find schedules, standings, and a lot of great stories from some good writers.

Writers like Reuben Terrado bring us up to date info on the happenings on the islands. Whether it is an all-star game or game highlights, they are there to provide some in depth information.

It’s definitely a site you should bookmark and check out often. If you want to ask a question or add in your comments, head on over to the “Shout Out” section of the site and give your 2 cents.

You can find maps, stats, and rosters from all the teams in the current series. It’s definitely your one-stop-shop for all things baseball in the Philippines.

You can find them on Facebook as well. So head on over and say hello.

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Philippines: 17-Year-Old Munoz No-Hits Uni-Bikers


By Jonas Terrado

Pitcher Carlos Munoz entered the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium hoping to lead the Alabang Tigers to a victory over the Dumaguete Uni-Bikers on Independence Day.

But the 17-year old right-hander not only led the Tigers to the win, he also achieved one of the baseball’s rarest feats – a no hitter.

On a hot late afternoon heat at the historic ballpark, the lanky 5-foot-11, mestizo-looking Munoz not only pitched a no-hitter, he struck out a record 13 batters to power Alabang to a 1-0 win over Dumaguete, capping off a memorable weekend in Baseball Philippines Series 8.

Munoz was cruising right from the start, fanning seven batters in the first six innings had a stretch of striking out four consecutive batters in the seventh and eighth frames.

In the ninth, Munoz not only shrugged off the pressure of completing a “no-no”, he also prevented the Uni-Bikers from taking the lead with runners on third and second when Pelos Remollo looked at his one-ball, two-strike pitch for the game’s final out.

Alabang coach Jeffrey Santiago and the rest of the players jogged towards Munoz, who became the first-ever player in BP history to throw a no-hitter.

It was probably a moment that Munoz never imagined. A day earlier, he missed Alabang’s 15-9 loss to Dumaguete in Lipa City, Batangas to attend classes as a freshman student at La Salle.

“I never thought that would do something like this,” said Munoz, who got congratulatory messages not only from teammates but also from the opposing team as well.

“I was struggling throwing the curveball but I managed to pitch well with my fastball,” said Munoz.

Munoz pulled off trick by throwing 123 pitches as Santiago opted to keep him in the game.

“I told him to toughen himself up because I knew he’s capable of completing a no-hitter,” said Santiago.

The win snapped the Tigers’ five-game losing skid to forge a tie with Taguig for fourth spot at 2-5.

Munoz, whose gem was witnessed by his parents, including team official Pepe Munoz, won a pitcher’s duel with the battle-tested Ernesto Binarao.

The lefty Binarao was likewise impressive, striking out nine Alabang batters in eight innings. However, he gave up the game’s only run that spelled the difference.

Matt Laurel, who like Munoz missed the Lipa game, hit a one-out, line drive single to third base, allowing Andro Cuyugan to score from second base. He finished with two hits, the other being a triple in the sixth.

Munoz had 11 strikeouts with two outs in the eighth but his nearly lost his no-hit bid twice.

Dumaguete catcher Lloyd Arago drilled a deep fly to right field but rightfielder Andro Cuyugan robbed him of at least a double when he stretched his left glove to make the catch.

In the ninth, Jezreel Rosita appeared to have ended Munoz’s quest when he hit a slow tapper to Munoz, who he and first baseman Bocboc Bernardo tried to field the ball. The latter’s throw to first came in late and Rosita was ruled safe.

But the official scorer ruled to play as a fielding error by Bernardo, keeping his bid intact.

On the next at-bat, Jhonny Altomonte drew a walk, his second in the contest then Amber Plaza grounded out on a bunt, advancing Rosita and Altomonte to third and second, respectively, before fanning Remollo to achieve his record feat.

“Yeah, there was pressure but I got to credit my teammates as well for their defense,” said Munoz.

It was Alabang’s first win in 56 days with the last coming against Batangas, 11-9, in Brgy. Libjo, Batangas City. Ironically, Munoz was named as the winning pitcher after the Tigers rallied from 9-1 down.

The Uni-Bikers fall to last place at 1-5.

Courtesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: Provinces to Host Games for Series 8


By Reuben Terrado

PHILIPPINES – For the first time in the league’s three-year history, Baseball Philippines will take its show in the provinces for Series 8.

Nolan Bernardino, executive director of the Community Sports Inc., said that Batangas, Laguna and Subic will play host to the out-of-town games.

Bernardino among with a host of players guested in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum where they promoted the opening of Series 8 on April 16 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

“For the first time, we will hold out-of-town games in baseball hotbeds in Luzon. Hopefully, kung magkakataon, sana sa Visayas din,” said Bernardino during the session.

Series 8 will be played with a double round-robin format as league organizers anticipate a national team competing in the baseball event of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia in November.

The Philippines won the SEA Games baseball gold in 2005 but lost the crown to Thailand in 2007, the last time the sport was played in the biennial meet.

“We really hope that we can compete in the SEA Games and bring back the glory,” said Bernardino.

The Manila Sharks are all out to build a dynasty in Baseball Philippines as they look to win their third consecutive crown in Series 8.

But other teams are also ready to challenge the Sharks for the crown.

The Cebu Dolphins struggled in Season 7 as they were hounded with injuries and other commitments but are poised to make a run for their third title.

The Batangas Bulls have beefed up their line-up with young talent, most of them having competed in the Little League World Series in the past.

The Dumaguete Uni-bikers and the Alabang Tigers also boast of a youthful line-up while the Taguig Patriots have retooled hoping to challenge the other teams in Series 8.

Story and Photo Coutesy BaseballPhilippines.com

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Philippines: Manila Sharks Win Philippines Series 7


By Reuben Terrado

The Manila Sharks completed their journey towards Baseball Philippines history with a masterful beating of the Batangas Bulls.

And it was pitcher Charlie Labrador who put on the finishing touches in the Sharks’ title romp as he shut down the Bulls for a 7-0 victory and rule the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 7 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The right-handed Labrador was tasked on the mound in Manila’s first chance to win their second straight crown.

And Labrador, the 31-year old native of Sorsogon who has been with the Philippine national team for nine years, failed to disappoint his squad.

In a no-relief effort, the brawny hurler allowed just three hits and retired 17 of the final 18 batters, including the final out that saw second baseman Francis Candela catching a pop fly by Charles Catangui to start the celebration.

A follow-up to their Series 6 title last July, the Sharks became the first team in the three-year history of the league to win back-to-back championships while tying Batangas and the Cebu Dolphins for the most number of titles.

It will be a fitting Christmas present for the Sharks, which placed second in the elimination round with a 4-1 slate that saw them suffer a stinging setback to the Bulls. In that game, they lost a 3-1 lead in the eighth and lost 8-4.

“It’s perfect,” said coach Jhoel Palanog. “We entered the finals well prepared and we also focus on the little details. Right from day one of practice, the team really wanted to win.”

Labrador, who gave Batangas a preview of what’s in store in Game 2 with a 1-2-3 ninth inning that saw him strike out two batters, was simply unstoppable as the Bulls had no answer against him to earn the Finals Most Valuable Player award.

It was a redeeming victory for Labrador, who admitted in the previous tournament to have lost his edge and was coughed up with a number of runs in Game 2 of the Series 6 finals against Cebu.

“I really came in prepared for this game because in Series I felt that I didn’t play well,” Labrador said. “Before the game, I was a bit nervous but once I got the hold of the ball, my confidence slowly grew.”

One of the Bulls that was non-existent is Series 7 MVP Vio Roxas. After hitting a solo homer in Game 1, went hitless in four at-bats.

“Our rotation for this series was for Jonjon Robles pitch Game 1 and Charlie in Game 2. That was it,” said Palanog. “I’m glad he was able to step up.”
Robles was ineligible to pitch after exceeding the maximum amount of 50 pitches in Game 1. He struggled last week but the Sharks still won, 8-2.

Labrador also got support from the Manila offense.

The Sharks led 2-0 after five innings but erupted for five runs in the sixth frame that ultimately decided the outcome.

Highlighted that big run in that said inning were two errors from Bulls shortstop Justin Zialcita with two outs. He bobbled a bouncer of Francis Candela at second base that allowed Saxon Omandac and a sliding Nino Tator to extend the margin to 6-0.

On the next at-bat, Zialcita again made a defensive miscue when the ball hit by Christian Galedo sailed past his glove and Candela, who later advanced to second on a stolen base, scored to settle the final score.

Prior to that, Edward Landicho drilled a double to score Jonjon Robles then later touched home plate when a fielding error by pitcher Vladimir Eguia on a groundball by Omandac allowed him to score.

Marvin Malig, who co-shared the Home Run King award with Quezon City’s Ernesto Binarao, drove home Manila’s first run in the opening frame with a double to score Bambol Servo from first base.

Servo later hit his own RBI, a single that allowed Galedo to touch home plate in the bottom of the third inning.

It was a disappointing finish for the Bulls, who posted a five-game sweep of the single-round elims. They then disposed the Alabang Tigers in the semifinals to arrange a finals affair with Manila.

But what was expected to be a pitching duel between the duo of Robles and Labrador against the duo of Eguia and Romeo Jasmin didn’t materialized.

Eguia, who pitched just three innings in Game 1 after coughing up three runs, left the game in the sixth by allowing three runs anew and walked four.

Batangas also committed three errors in the match.

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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Manila Sharks Win Philippines Crown


PHILIPPINES – Jon Jon Robles punched out 10 batters and Niño Tator stroked three doubles to help the Manila Sharks edge the Cebu Dolphins, 2-1, Saturday at the Felino Marcelino Memorial Baseball Field in Taguig City to capture its first Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines crown.

Robles, who nearly led the Arrows Ostrava to the Czech League championship in 2009, limited Cebu to just a pair of hits to lead the three-time league bridesmaid to the historic win in the rubber match of the best-of-three title series.

Tator went 4-for-4 and delivered a go-ahead, two-base hit in the fifth off Cebu starter Edmer Del Socorro.

The Dolphins opened the scoring in the second to grab a 1-0 lead. Del Socorro tagged Robles with a double to center field, moved up one base on a sacrifice bunt, and sprinted home on a squeeze play by Ram Alipio.

The Sharks knotted the score the following inning when Christian Galedo crossed the plate on an error by Jonard Pareja. Galedo ignited the game-winning rally two frames later with a single, swiped second and raced home on Tator’s clutch two-bagger.

Del Socorro (0-1) was charged with the setback after giving up two runs on eight hits.

Robles (2-0) won his second game in the championship series and was named the league MVP. The 25-year-old left-hander, who pitched University of Santo Tomas to a pair of collegiate titles, earned his second Baseball Philippines title after helping the Makati Mariners win the inaugural crown in 2007.

BASEBALL PHILIPPINES SERIES VI FINALS:

Game 1: Manila Sharks 5, Cebu Dolphins 3
Game 2: Cebu Dolphins 10, Manila Sharks 9
Game 3: Manila Sharks 2, Cebu Dolphins 1

(Manila Sharks wins series 2-1)

Visit the league website for news, statistics and photos.

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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Cebu Evens Philippines Title Series


PHILIPPINES – The Manila Sharks sought to end their first-ever crown on Saturday. But thanks to sloppy fielding by the Sharks, the Cebu Dolphins capitalized and now the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6 finals is tied at one game apiece.

Cebu leaned on its timely bats in the eighth inning to hack out a come-from-behind 10-9 victory over Manila at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium to force the series into a winner-take-all match.

In a see-saw affair, the Dolphins got a big offensive boost in the eighth inning from centerfielder Jonash Ponce.

Ponce, a member of the RP national team, drove home the go-ahead run with a double off starter Charlie Labrador to score Fongs Rances from second as the squad of coach Saki Bacarisas grabbed an 8-7 lead with just one out.

The scoring didn’t stop from there as the Dolphins continued to pounce on the Sharks as centerfielder Saxon Omandac failed to properly field a hit by Jonard Pareja that enabled Joseph Orillana and Ponce to reach home and make it a 10-7 advantage.

Although ahead, Cebu had to survive a last ditch effort by Manila in the top of the ninth.

Jarus Inobio, who came in as a pinch-runner for first baseman Jonjon Robles, scored on a sacrifice fly by Romy Bumagat before Christian Galedo, who earlier doubled, touch home on a groundout.

Francis Candela later singled, and moved to second, on a one-bagger by Omandac with two outs. But Orillana, who started as pitcher and replaced Christian Maghanoy in the sixth, fanned Nino Tator on four pitches to end the game.

Game 3 is set on July 31 with both teams looking to make history.

Cebu tries to win a league-record third title while Manila seeks to become just the fourth team to wrest the crown.

Galedo delivered the first run of the game on a double that scored designated hitter Edward Landicho. He later put the Sharks up 2-0 on Jenald Pareja’s single before the diminutive Pareja himself touched home plate on Candela’s run-scoring hit for a 3-0 lead

The Dolphins actually fell behind 3-0 in the second frame but with the Sharks began to have some fielding problems that eventually led to seven errors at the end of the contest.

Ponce, who would eventually go 4-of-5 with four RBIs, drilled a triple that scored Rances for the team’s first run then touched home on a run-scoring double by the burly Miggy Corcuera.

And then, a poorly fielded groundball of Cebu’s Ram Alipio by Robles at first allowed Corcuera and Edmer del Socorro to put the Dolphins on top 4-3.

Manila tied the game in the top half of the next inning but Ponce starred once more blasting a two-run single in the same frame scoring Maghanoy and Rances for a 6-4 lead. Cebu later made it 7-4 and appeared headed for a rousing Game 2 victory.

However, the feisty Sharks cut the lead to a single run in the seventh on an RBI single by Tata Empacis and an RBI triple by Galedo and Candela reached home after Maghanoy made a poor fielding effort in right field off Empacis’ hit to tie the game before failing to complete the rally.

Orillana survived a nightmarish outing on the mound to pick the win while counterpart Charlie Labrador struggled anew giving up 11 hits in a complete game outing and thus assured of missing Game 3 after hurling past the maximum requirement of 50-pitches to be eligible for the next game.

Labrador started in place of Robles, who was ineligible to pitch due to league rules. The former Czech Republic league veteran pitched most of Game 1 as the Sharks came away with a 5-3 win.

Newly-elected Philippine vice president Jejomar Binay tossed the ceremonial pitch, a first in league history, that a highly-elected official of his stature would grace the three-year old baseball circuit.

Jonas Terrado is the chief writer at the Baseball Philippines website.

Source: Baseball Philippines

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Manila Nears Baseball Philippines Title


PHILIPPINES – General manager Rich Cruz had a nice birthday present last Saturday – a win from his Manila Sharks. But it was no ordinary victory. The Sharks are one win away from grabbing their first-ever Baseball Philippines crown.

Manila, with Jon Jon Robles’ excellence on the mound, downed Cebu, 5-3, at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium in Taguig to move one win away from taking home the title.

Robles had a one-hitter and struck out seven batters after taking over the mound from starter Charlie Labrador, who struggled in the series opening matchup.

Labrador allowed the Dolphins’ three runs in the first frame before Robles, an ex-Czech Republic professional player, entered the game to save the day.

Christian Galedo doubled to score Jarus Inobio, while Rommel Roja drove home Galedo in the second inning that proved to be enough for the Sharks.

The day, however, belonged to Robles.

The only Dolphin batter who got a hit off Robles was Edmer Del Socorro, who drilled ground-rule double in the fifth. He reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonard Pareja before the southpaw induced an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Ram Alipio.

In another scoring opportunity for Cebu in the eighth, Jonash Ponce reached on an error and advanced to third on a ground out by Miggy Corcuera. The Dolphins looked headed for a score with Del Socorro stepping into the batter’s box, but Robles needed just one pitch to retire Del Socorro on a flyout to squash the rally.

Robles finished off the game in the final frame with three flyouts to seal the win.

“Charlie wasn’t playing well so I decided to put Jon Jon in. He totally changed the game and stepped up,” said Manila coach Jhoel Palanog, who just came from Jakarta after coaching an RP team in the Asia Pacific Little League series.

Palanog also credited assistant coach Iking Gonzales, who took over the preparation chores while he was in Jakarta.

Joseph Orillana, Jonash Ponce and Del Socorro scattered run-scoring hits off Labrador to take first blood but the Sharks tied the game on a two-run double by Bambol Servo and an RBI single by Ramil Empacis.

The Sharks go for the sweep in Game 2 on July 24 with Labrador as the possible starter.

“I believe that Charlie will come back for Game 2” said Palanog.

Palanog was on the losing end of two Manila Sharks finals appearance, one against Cebu in Series II. But now, the Sharks are on the brink of their first crown.

“One more win,” the Sharks said in unison after Game 1.

(This article was written by Baseball Philippines writer Reuben Terrado)

Source: Baseball Philippines

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Manila, Cebu Clash In Philippines Finals


PHILIPPINES – The Manila Sharks and the Cebu Dolphins will battle for the league crown when the two squads clash in Game One of the Dunkin Donuts’ Baseball Philippines Series 6 championship series on Saturday. Both teams finished the elimination round with identical 4-1 slates and will meet for the crown for the first time Series 2 in 2007.

The Sharks advanced to the title matchup with a 5-4 victory over the Alabang Tigers at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium. Manila climbed out of a two-run hole in the final frame as Jarus Inobio singled home Maclyn Samorin with the game-winning score.

The duo of Jonjon Robles and Charlie Labrador anchor the pitching chores for the Sharks. Robles, who pitched for the Arrows Ostrava (Czech Republic) in 2009, racked up 12 strikeouts in the semifinals.

The Dolphins ended the title reign of the Bulls with a 7-3 win, and are seeking a league-record third championship in their first finals appearnace since 2008. Fil-Am Lorenzo Ubungen (4-0) and Joseph Orillana (1-1) are thr main men on the hill for Cebu.

Baseball Philippines Championship Schedule:

Saturday, July 17
Cebu Dolphins vs. Manila Sharks

Saturday, July 24
Manila Sharks vs. Cebu Dolphins

Saturday, July 31
Cebu Dolphins vs. Manila Sharks

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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North Wins Philippines All-Star Clash


PHILIPPINES – The North All-Stars, composed of players from the RP national team, showed why their vast experience was one of their biggest weapons in beating the youthful South All-Stars.

Behind a late inning scoring binge, the Northerners went on to beat the South team, 7-2, in a special exhibition game in conjunction with the Fil-Am Friendship Day celebrations held at the Alabang Country Club.

In a game that saw new US ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas throwing out the ceremonial first pitch while wearing a jersey of his favorite team the New York Mets, the North wasted a 2-0 lead but made up for it in the last two frames of the seven-inning affair to notch the win.

The North team opened the scoring in the third inning. Ferdinand Recto, who plays for Taguig reached first on a fielders choice, stole second then advanced to third on an error before scooting home on an RBI single by Chris Canlas.

Pampanga’s Andro Cuyugan later made it 2-0 in the fourth frame when he blasted a double that brought home Canlas from second base.

The South squad, a team led mainly by some collegiate standouts and young players ages 25 years and below, made sure they won’t give the game to the North on a silver platter tying the game in the bottom half of the said inning by scoring two runs.

Eguia drilled a two-out, two-run single scoring burly first baseman Miggy Corcuera from Jeffrey Ardio to tie the contest.

Fongs Rances scored the go-ahead run when Joseph Orillana, a team with Cebu and the National team, grounded out to second baseman Emil Dimatulac to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning. But, the North pulled away in the seventh-and-final inning to virtually seal the win.

Vio Roxas, one of the league’s best long-ball hitter, connected on a solo homer off Batangas Bulls’ teammate Vladimir Eguia to extend the North’s margin to 4-2. However, the scoring didn’t end there.

Cebu’s Jonash Ponce singled then Nino Tator walked, enabling Rances to drill a double that scored both runners to extend the lead to four runs (6-2) with still no outs. Rances then completed his productive afternoon by scoring from third on a passed ball as South catcher Ronald Bocalan failed to caught a pitch thrown by Eguia.

Forward Taguig lefty pitcher Darwin dela Calzada took the win after holding the Southerners scoreless in the next two innings while striking out Eguia and Bocalan for the first two outs.

Meanwhile, a pair of players from the Alabang Tigers won the special side events held after the contest.

Matt Laurel, a member of the South team, showed his thirst for power by blasting three homers to win the Home Run Derby beating Jonash Ponce and Roxas while Bernardo Siaotong took the Golden Arm contest after he was the only participant to make an accurate throw to home plate.

Jonas Terrado is the chief writer at the Baseball Philippines website

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Philippines: Manila Sharks Nab Top Seed


PHILIPPINES – The Manila Sharks have again secured the No. 1 spot heading into the semifinals.  But will the Sharks be able to prove everyone they are the team to beat in the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6 and erase a stigma of losing in the games that mattered the most.

Behind a strong game, the Big City batters completed their near-flawless elimination round by beating host team Forward Taguig, 7-1, Sunday in front of a big-sized crowd at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium here.

The pitching prowess of Charlie Labrador and Jonjon Robles coupled with the support from the offense, the Manila batters easily brushed aside the Patriots to end their elimination round record with four wins and one defeat.

Although the Sharks would end up tying the Cebu Dolphins, they will gain the No. 1 seeding thanks to the win-over-the-other rule. In their lone meeting, they were able to beat the Dolphins 9-8 three weeks ago.

Thus, Manila arranged a semifinal duel with the No. 4 Alabang Tigers on Saturday, also in Taguig, with the former holding a twice-to-beat advantage. But will the third time be a charm for the squad of coach Jhoel Palanog. The squad has earned two No. 1 seeding twice since they were formed in 2007 only to end up in disappointment.

In Series 2, Manila posted an 8-2 record and reached the finals against Cebu. But the Dolphins won the title highlighted by an unforgiving 20-5 rout in the deciding third game.

A tournament later, or what is called as Series 3, the Sharks rolled to a 10-1 record and eventually faced the Dumaguete Uni-Bikers in the semifinals with a twice-to-beat advantage. However, the Uni-Bikers, bannered by ex-collegiate and national team standouts, some of them in their late-30’s or early-40’s, showed some gutsy determination to stun Manila.

Palanog and the rest of the crew hopes to erase the ghost of the past. It will be a rematch of Series 5’s semifinal series. The Sharks won 11-10 to advance to the finals but not after a grueling 14-inning marathon.

Labrador and Robles, who once were teammates for the RP national team during the Asian Baseball Championships and the Southeast Asian Games in 2007, combined for nine strikeouts and allowed just five hits to put the Patriots at bay.

The right-handed Labrador easily cruised past home squad retiring the first 15 batters and struck out six in seven innings pitched before Robles fanned three in the last two frames to finish the job.

Roel Empacis and Christian Galedo had two RBIs each for the Sharks to highlight the team’s solid offensive production.

The Patriots finished off their elimination round campaign with a 1-4 record thus missing the semifinals for the second straight tournament.

CEBU DOLPHINS 11, BATANGAS BULLS 8
The Cebu Dolphins are lucky to have scored five runs in the fifth inning to survive one last push of the Batangas Bulls to settle the outcome. And now they are one win away from getting back to the finals.

Cebu got the big hits from its key players to repulse Batangas, 11-8, to wrest the last twice-to-beat bonus in the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6 at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium.

After wasting an early lead to trail 2-1 entering the fifth inning, the Dolphins took over. First baseman Miggy Corcuera, despite making three consecutive baserunning blunders, put the Dolphins ahead for good when he smashed a two-run hit that eventually propelled the team to the win.

With that, Cebu won the opening game of this virtual best-of-three series with Batangas. The official semifinal series begins on Saturday also in Taguig.

The Dolphins finished with a 4-1 record tied with Manila for the lead but the latter gained top spot because of the win-over-the-other rule. The Sharks won 9-8 in their lone elimination round game.

The Bulls ended their stint with a 3-2 record. But nonetheless, this series is expected to be a close affair as both teams have the championship experience accounting for two titles each, the most in the three-year history of the league.

It will be the second straight time and third overall that Cebu and Batangas met in the semis. All of those meetings have been won by the Bulls in Series 3 and Series 5 but not before a stiff challenge by the Dolphins.

Jonas Terrado is the chief writer for the Philippines League

Visit Baseball Philippines for game reports, photos and stats from the Philippines League.

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Batangas Bulls Clinch Playoff Spot


PHILIPPINES – It was a hot day in Baseball Philippines’ first game at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium in Taguig City. And so were the bats of defending champion Batangas and Alabang.

But in the end, it was the Bulls who got the victory in this high-scoring affair taking a 12-9 win over the Tigers to earn a semifinal berth in the Dunkin Donuts’ Baseball Philippines Series 6.

Vio Roxas slammed five RBIs including a two-run single that scored the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning to give Batangas its third win in four outings.

CEBU DOLPHINS 12, PAMPANGA SAND KINGS 4
Being assigned in the third spot of the order, Cebu’s Jonash Ponce knows the importance of manufacturing runs. Against Pampanga, Ponce did the job well.

Ponce belted a three-run home run in the first inning then started off a six-run binge in the seventh as the Dolphins defeated the Sand Kings, 12-4, Saturday at the new Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium.

Ponce made good on what the situation his teammates presented to him hitting two-of-four, both hits of which came in run-scoring situations in the lopsided game.

Team Won Lost
Manila Sharks 04 01
Cebu Dolphins 04 01
Batangas Bulls 03 02
Alabang Tigers 02 03
Pampanga Sand Kings 01 04
Taguig Patriots 01 04

Visit Baseball Philippines for game reports, photos and stats from the Philippines League.

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Batangas Bulls Maul Pampanga


PHILIPPINES – Justin Zialcita made sure the Batangas Bulls will not fall victim to another upset victory by the Pampanga Sand Kings.

Zialcita continued his hot streak at the plate to lead a mixture of young players who starred in the Bulls’ masterful 9-3 triumph over the Sand Kings to wrest solo second in the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6 at the Alabang Country Club.

In perhaps the most productive game of his career, Zialcita drove home five runs-batted-in (RBI) as he was key in putting Batangas ahead at the start to derail Pampanga’s bid to win back-to-back games.

The Sand Kings shocked the erstwhile unbeaten Manila Sharks, 7-5, last week. This time, however, the magic from the win easily disappeared against the Bulls’ rampage.

Batangas, which suffered a 5-4 loss to Manila on opening day, posted its second straight win to climb into second place with the idle Cebu Dolphins at 2-1 to move one-game closer to a spot in the semifinals.

MANILA 15, ALABANG 7
Coming off a stunning loss, the Manila Sharks wanted to prove that they are a legitimate title-contender in the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6.

The Sharks vented their ire on the hometown Alabang Tigers with a huge scoring-binge in the first three innings before winning in an abbreviated six-inning game because of a heavy downpour at the Alabang Country Club.

Manila earned the first semifinals berth following its third win in four games.

Catcher Rommel Roja and Saxon Omandac were the ones who led the scoring binge for Manila.

Roja, a member of the National team, produced three RBIs off two hits in three at-bats while drawing one walk. He put the Sharks on the board on a two-run single in the first then brought home another runner in the next inning.

Omandac, meanwhile, finished with four RBIs off three hits and two doubles in one of the best offensive games of his BP career.

Team Won Lost
Batangas Bulls 03 01
Cebu Dolphins 02 01
Manila Sharks 03 02
Alabang Tigers 03 02
Pampanga Sand Kings 02 04
Taguig Patriots 01 04

Jonas Terrado is the Chief Writer for the Philippines League.

Visit the official Baseball Philippines website

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Philippines: Manila Nips Batangas


PHILIPPINES – Two mainstays of the Manila Sharks entered the opening game of the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 6 with two different baseball stories.

There was third baseman Nino Tator, a part of several RP national team members that were given an indefinite suspension for staging a walkout during one playdate of last year’ Series 5. It’s been close to 13 months since he last saw action for the Sharks.

The other is a 16-year old named MJ Gante. The Nueva Ecija native is coming off his rookie season with National University where he played a key role in the Bulldogs’ impressive runner-up finish in the UAAP.

Both came out with impressive performances as the Sharks scored a stunning 5-4 victory over Series 5 champion Batangas Bulls in the league’s opening day at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Tator drilled a bases-loaded, three RBI hit in the first inning that put the Sharks on board while Gante kept the favored Bulls at bay with a solid relief effort before the rest of the team survived a near late-game collapse in the last inning to preserve the victory.

It was somewhat of a redemption for Manila, which suffered an embarrassing sweep at the expense of Batangas in the Series 5 finale. The close game marked an auspicious start for the league after deciding to hold off the staging of Series 6 last October.

“We started aggressive right from the start,” Manila coach Jhoel Palanog said. “Tator’s hit gave us a big lift until the last inning and MJ really played well despite being a rookie in this league.”

Right from the opening pitch, it seems that both squads are trying to shrug off rust after being shelved for months, some even a year.

It truly benefited the Sharks in the bottom half of the first inning against Batangas’ starting pitcher Vladimir Eguia. Leadoff batter Francis Candela reached safely to first on a throwing error by shortstop Jojo Apura then advanced to second after Saxon Omandac got on base. Then, Chun Wang Song of Korea got hit by Eguia’s pitch to load the bases.

Marvin Malig would fly out to left for the first out to set up Tator’s hit – a flyball into left-center that led to the all runners scooting home for a 3-0 lead. If that wasn’t enough, Tator, who registered a double on that hit, was running to third when a bad throw to home bounced into the Bulls’ dugout and the umpires gave him a free pass to the plate, making it a 4-0 advantage.

Starting pitcher Mick Natividad shrugged off rust in the first two innings but coughed up three runs in the third – a Nick Sarda sacrifice and a pair of RBI hits by the returning Vio Roxas and Apura to cut the lead to just 4-3.

That set the stage for the entry of Gante, who would later allowed just two hits and struck out three batters in five innings while getting help from a solid defense from his teammates before Palanog pulled him out in the eighth after making his 50th pitch of the day.

In that duration, Manila made it 5-3 in the fourth frame when Candela drilled a hit-and-run play with a groundball to center field that scored veteran Bambol Servo all the way from first base.

Ace pitcher Charlie Labrador came in the top-half of the eighth to replace Gante and was doing fine at the start of the final inning.

But the Bulls threatened as Randy de Leon singled, then was replaced by pinch runner Josh Rappaport. An Eguia hit put runners on first and second with Teddy Landicho blasting a flyball into right field that was caught by substitute rightfielder Al-Denn Lozada amidst the late afternoon sun.

Rappaport tagged to third but Lozada’s throw to Song, Manila’s third baseman, bounced off the glove and rushed home to cut the lead to one while Remollo, who replaced Eguia, advanced to second with two outs.

From there, Labrador survived a six-pitch duel with Batangas batter Chris Canlas by forcing him to hit a flyout into Lozada for the final out.

Natividad pitched four innings for the Sharks and gave up three runs off four hits and walked three while striking out three Bulls. Eguia was almost at par, likewise yielding four hits in just two innings before being replaced by Series 5 MVP Romeo Jasmin.

Earlier, league officials and some of the owners of the six participating teams along with officials from title sponsor Dunkin’ Donuts graced the simple opening rites with each throwing out a ceremonial pitch.

Jonas Terrado is the chief writer at the Baseball Philippines website.

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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Cebu Dolphins Stop Forward Taguig


PHILIPPINES – The Cebu Dolphins were finding ways to get one up against Forward Taguig’s new ace pitcher Darwin dela Calzada.

At the start, dela Calzada was in cruise control and with some help from the Patriots’ offense, the Dolphins fell behind early.

Cebu eventually came back to tie the game and then capitalized on dela Calzada’s tired arm with a five-run eighth to score a 7-2 comeback victory Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

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ALABANG 6, PAMPANGA 2
With a bases loaded situation and two outs in the second inning, third base runner Gian Paulo Llaguno of the Alabang Tigers missed a sign by his coach and attempted to make a Jackie Robinson-like steal to home plate.

Pampanga’s lefty pitcher Jeffrey Ardio, unaware of the situation, kept doing his routine throw. Llaguno slide home plate despite the risk of himself getting his head whacked by Matt Laurel’s bat or his head being drilled by Ardio’s pitch.

Luckily, no one was sent to the hospital and the Tigers celebrated after Laurel managed to hit a groundball into centerfielder even with Llaguno underneath him and two more runners scored to gain a commanding 5-0 lead.

That sequence was enough for Alabang to spoil the debut of the Sand Kings and registered a 6-2 victory Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

-> Read More

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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Philippines League Opens April 10


PHILIPPINES – The sixth edition of the Philippines League – Baseball Philippines Series VI – is scheduled to start on April 10, 2010. League games will once again be held at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Baseball Philippines is the league which showcases great talent from its pool of players from the different universities and colleges. Ranging from young new talents to the more experienced veterans, Baseball Philippines has been the highlight of baseball here in the Philippines. Not only does it showcases talents from universities and colleges nationwide, we also have some Filipino players from abroad who come to play locally and are given the chance to show off their baseball skills.

Other than Baseball Philippines, the Junior Baseball Philippines Series II will also be held simultaneously starring the younger baseball stars of the Philippines. Coming from our local schools, JBP has earned its right to be the league of the young aspirants today of baseball; future star players in the making.

Sai Prado is a writer at the Baseball Philippines website

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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La New Bears To Assist Philippines League


PHILIPPINES – Chinese-Taipei’s La New Bears, a professional baseball team, is willing to help the country improve its baseball program.

Team officials led by General Manager Kou Chien-lin travelled to Manila recently to meet with the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) on how both sports organizations can further expand its baseball relationship.

La New Bears, one of the four teams in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), has helped PABA in training the country’s National players two years ago where they invited pitchers Darwin Dela Calzada and Jonash Ponce in their training camp for free.

The camp helped improved their game with Dela Calzada emerging as the best pitcher during the 2007 Thailand SEA Games and became the first recipient of the Emilio Bernardino Award in the Baseball Philippines series while playing for the Dumaguete Unibikers last year.

Kou arrived along with International Affairs Department (IAD) head Tek Lee and Minor League GM Roger Tsai and PABA director at large Joe Hung. The group informed PABA president Hector Navasero of their willingness to again train national players in Taipei.

“We’re willing to accept five players including two junior players for a month long training for free. All you need is to spend for their plane fare and we’ll take care of the rest,” said Kou.

The Bears also opened the possibility of the Kaoshiung-based squad in using the Rizal Memorial Baseball Field as a training facility especially during winter in Taiwan.

“They (CPBL officials) are going to see the field and make a report to determine if the condition is up to standard. Should it materialize, the Philippines will greatly benefit from it since other members of the national team can be accommodated in their training,” said Hung.

There are also plans to bring the Bears here for a series of exhibition matches with the national team aside from the possibility of helping the members of the junior team by holding games between both countries during weekends.

The Bears won their first title in 2006 and settled with a pair of runner-up finishes in the next two seasons.

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

Source: GMANews.TV

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Philippines League Series 5 Awards


PHILIPPINES – Romeo Jasmin of the Baseball Philippines Series 5 champion Batangas Bulls has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player. The sidearm-throwing Nueva Ecija native, who is
a former UAAP MVP and Best Pitcher for two-time defending champion Adamson University, was acquired in the offseason from the Alabang Tigers.

Jasmin (see photo) went 2-0 on the mound for the Bulls which posted a 13-1 record, including a perfect 10-0 card in the classification round.

Batangas joined the Cebu Dolphins as one of only two teams to capture two baseball titles in the short history of the Philippines league. The then-Makati Mariners (now Alabang Tigers) are the other team that has bagged a title in league’s two-year history when they pulled off the feat in Series 1.

2009 Baseball Philippines Series 5 Awards

Most Valuable Player
Romeo Jasmin, Batangas Bulls

Batting Champion
Jay Laurel, Alabang Tigers (.515)

Home Run King
Matt Laurel, Alabang Tigers (6 HR)

Most Stolen Bases
Saxon Omandac, Dumaguete Uni-bikers (4 SB)

Best Manager
Randy Dizer, Batangas Bulls (13-1)

Championship Series MVP
Vladimir Eguia, Batangas Bulls

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

Source: Baseball Philippines

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Batangas Bulls Wins Philippines Crown


PHILIPPINES – The Batangas Bulls’ campaign in Baseball Philippines Series 5 mirrored the way how they totally demolished the Manila Sharks in the finals.

Completing one of the best performances in a single tournament, the Bulls completed the destruction of the Manila Sharks, 12-2, to claim the league’s Series 5 crown at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

With pitcher Vladimir Eguia putting the Manila batters at bay and the offense scattering a bunch of hits all day long, Batangas put an end to one of the most decisive routs in a best-of-three championship series to claim its second title in team history.

Eguia held the underdog Sharks to just five hits while striking out six batters in a no-relief effort to be adjudged as the Finals Most Valuable Player. The 20-year old lefty out of University of the Philippines was also rewarded as the circuit’s Best Pitcher.

But, that was only half of the story as Batangas peppered Manila pitchers Mick Natividad and Christian Galedo with 16 hits that resulted in a quick four-run binge in the second inning and six runs in the last two frames to clinch the sweep.

Batangas’ win put them alongside the Cebu Dolphins in an elite classphilippines-1_opt1 as one of only two teams to capture two baseball championships. The then-Makati Mariners (now Alabang Tigers) are the other team that has bagged a title in league’s two-year history when they pulled off the feat in Series 1.

The Bulls were almost invincible as they posted a 13-1 record that saw them win all of the 10 games played in the classification round that saw national team players Vio Roxas, Junifer Pinero, Hashim Omandac and Chris Canlas getting handed with an indefinite suspension by the league midway into the tournament.

Their only loss came at the hands of the Dolphins in their first game of their semifinal series but Batangas shook off the shocking loss by winning the last three games en route to the crown.

“At first, we thought we were the underdogs but once we won our first seven or so games and the national team players got suspended, we felt that we can win it all,” said Batangas team manager Randy Dizer, who was named as Series 5’s best tactician.

Eguia, who was once named as the UAAP MVP when he led UP to its last title three years ago, threw 123 pitches despite having to the full distance because of the injury of the team’s other heralded hurler Romeo Jasmin.

The sidearm-throwing Jasmin, who started as the team’s rightfielder, immediately left the first inning after he pulled his left hamstring as he was attempting to reach first base safely. But it turned out to be a bright day for the Nueva Ecija native as the league organizers awarded him with the tournament’s MVP plum despite a batting average of .233 (seven hits in 30 at-bats) with three RBIs (runs-batted-in).

Jasmin, acquired in the offseason from the Alabang Tigers, rewarded his new team with solid performances for the squad during Series 5 that earned him raves from Dizer.

“When we got him, it really solidify our pitching rotation because it helped us rest our other pitchers,” Dizer said of Jasmin, a former UAAP MVP and Best Pitcher for two-time defending champion Adamson University.

Michael de Rossi and Jose Jose conspired during a four-run, four-hit second inning as they hit a pair of two-run hits to gain a 4-0 lead that started the Batangas’ scoring spree.

With the bases loaded and with no outs, de Rossi smashed a pitch by Natividad into left field to score Ericson Eguia and Justin Zialcita. Jose followed suit with a two-run single down the left field line that brought home Randy de Leon and de Rossi.

A pair of runs in the next two innings put the Bulls in front, 6-0, but Marvin Malig drilled a one-out single to right field that scored leadoff man Jennald Pareja and Christian Galedo to cut the margin to 6-2.

But Manila failed to capitalize more with two men on base as playing team manager Jhoel Palanog struck out to end the threat.

Batangas padded the lead to 10-2 on a four-run eight, thanks to a two-run single by Carlo Banzon and two of five errors made by the Sharks in that said frame.

Jojo Apura, who has been superb in the postseason, settled the final score on a two-run double with two outs in the ninth frame.

“Almost everyone delivered in this came plus hit came in a big way for us,” Dizer said.

The Bulls took the series opener, 13-4, last Sunday behind a seven-run fifth inning to set up another impressive showing against the Sharks’ side that lost RP team members Charlie Labrador, Nino Tator, Francis Candela and Rommel Roja.

Meanwhile, brothers Jay and Matt Laurel were two other major individual winners of Series 5. Jay bagged two awards, winning the Most RBI and Best Hitter honors while Matt smashed six homers in the tournament to be named as the Home Run King.

Dumaguete’s Saxon Omandac took the Most Stolen Bases award while Jojo Abaa was teh Best Umpire.

Article and Photo courtesy of Jones Terrado/Baseball Philippines

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