Ateneo de Manila University underscored its readiness to reclaim the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) baseball crown as it ruled the Hong Kong International Baseball Open held at the Sai Tso Wan Baseball Field.
The Blue Batters posted a thrilling 7-6 win over the Hong Kong Red in the championship round of the eight-team tournament also participated by squads from Taiwan, China, Russia and host Hong Kong.
Ateneo made it to the gold medal match by blasting the Hong Kong Typhoons in the semifinals via an 8-5 victory.
They reached the Final Four after topping Group A with a clean 2-0 mark, beating Taiwan (23-1) and former champion Hong Kong Blue (12-1).
The Hong Kong Red placed second followed by the Hong Kong Typhoons, Shina Chang Baseball Team-Taiwan, Hong Kong Blue, Lanzhou New Way-China, Vladivistok Tigers-Russia and Shang Lei Construction and Development Baseball Team-Taiwan.
It was Ateneo’s second title in the tournament after dominating the 2014 edition.
Dino Altomonte bagged the Most Valuable Player award while Renzo Ramos and Ateneo coach Randy Dizer copped the Most Stolen Bases and Best Coach trophies.
The UAAP Season 79 baseball competitions will start in February with the Blue Batters aiming to bring the glory days back to Katipunan.
Last season, De La Salle University ended its 13-year title drought by sweeping Ateneo in the best-of-three finals. The Green Archers won in Game 1 via an 8-3 decision before scoring an 11-9 come-from-behind win in Game 2.