CLARK, Pampanga (MindaNews/12 July) – Sarangani representing the Philippines won over Indonesia by regulation, 21-2, in its second game at Asia-Pacific Intermediate League Baseball Tournament (AsPac) at The Villages here Tuesday.
After being blown off by Japan in the opening day (July 11), the debuting team of Sarangani defeated Indonesia today, 21-2, in only five innings.
“The kids expectedly find international play tough, but they are doing their best,” said Sarangani coach Lord Ken Naval.
The Philippines has always been embodied by players coming from the National Capital Region. But after winning in this year’s Palarong Pambansa, the boys from the little town of Maitum, Sarangani earned their ticket to the the international tourney.
They are competing with other teams including Hongkong, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea. The winner will represent the region in the Little League World Series to be held from July 31 to August 6 in Livermore, California, USA.
The Philippines finished 3rd place in last year’s AsPac competition held in Guangzhou, China. South Korea won while Japan placed second.
“We played well today but we will not keep our guard down. The boys should keep in mind what I have been telling them,” Naval added. “Team spirit.”
On Wednesday, the Philippines will face South Korea.
When Japan outclassed the Philippines, 8-0, on Monday, the opponents broke away in the second inning, 5-0, to eventually beat the Sarangani players in their baptism of fire in international baseball.
Coach Naval said his boys played well against Japan, which is used to playing in the World Series.
A contingent of supporters led by Sarangani Gov. Steve Solon, Vice Gov. Elmer de Peralta, Maitum Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit and provincial board members came to cheer the Sarangani players.
Some parents from Maitum also witnessed the team’s first foray in the July 11 to 17 AsPac qualifying tournament.
Some of the Philippine team’s players are from South Cotabato and Cotabato province. (By Jake Narte, with Cherry Marie Irish D. Cruz in Alabel/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)