The Philippine Team A started its bid on a high note as it blanked Indonesia, 14-0, in the opening day of the 2016 Pony Baseball/Softball International Asia Pacific Zone Championship held at the Alabang Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.
The Filipinos, who are playing in Group A, shrugged off a sluggish start as Reden Tapia, Timothy Caido and Lloyd Cinco all stepped up in the second inning to take the lead, 3-0.
Since then, the Filipinos never looked back as they overpowered their foes in the succeeding innings to seal the win.
Pitcher Miggy Reyes put up the pressure against the Indonesian batters, denying them a single tally throughout the match.
“The morale of the boys is very high. Our aim was to take each game at a time. We really needed to win that first game to pumped up the team going into our next games,” head coach Edward Tuason told The Mania Times after the game.
Tuason glad his players rose to the challenge after poor start.
“In a game, first innings usually start that way. The boys just get to test their opponents in the first few sequences but luckily, our key players stepped up to get a positive result for us,” he stated.
Tuason said the victory served as springboard as they face tougher teams like Japan, Korea and defending world champion Taiwan in the coming days.
“We will be against tough opponents in our next games. We will be playing real high caliber teams in the Asian Pacific region. This tournament is not our main tournament. This is just part of our program but as much as possible we want to win every game. If we’re not able to get wins, our aim is to at least improve the game of the kids,” Tuason said.
“Eventually, in the future, we hope to be on top of the Asia Pacific region once again because it has been a long time since we last won a championship,” he concluded.
In the second game, reigning champion Taiwan opened its campaign with a 15-8 win over South Korea.
The Taiwanese went hot off the start to blank the Koreans, 7-0, after the first inning.
The South Koreans, however, went as close as a point, 8-7, in the fourth frame marked by a home run courtesy of Ham Chang Geon.
But Taiwan stepped on the gas pedal to notch two more home runs by Lim Kuan Ting and the second home run of Lin Chen-Hsun to secure the victory for the titleholders.