The Philippines missed the Super Round in the recently-concluded Men's Softball World Cup but rebounded in the Placement Round by finishing 10th overall in this prestigious 12-nation tournament held in Auckland, New Zealand.
Despite giving Team USA (0-1) and Cuba (1-3) a scare in the opening round, the Blu Boys ended up with a 0-5 record in Group A and failed to advance in the Super Round.
The Cebuana Lhuillier-backed team, however, posted back to back shutout wins against higher-ranked teams Denmark (8-0) and South Africa (4-0) to end the tournament at 10th place.
"As I said, our participation here was a good opportunity for the boys to test themselves against the world's best teams. I am very elated with their performance particularly their games against Denmark and South Africa. A top ten finish in a team sport in any world competition is always something to be proud of," said Amateur Softball Association of Philippines (ASAPHIL) president Jean Henri Lhuillier, the long-time backer of softball in the country.
"Hats off to the boys for giving it their best and to ASAPHIL for making it happen. I want to make special mention of our pitcher Leo Barredo. He played at par with the top pitchers in the world."
Barredo was credited for the country's two wins in the tournament. He also ranked third in the tournament in earned run average (ERA) with 1.62 behind Argentina's Roman Godoy (1.04) and Canada's Sean Cleary (1.54).
The Philippines, the lowest ranked team in the 2022 World Cup at No. 21, is expected to rise in the world rankings.
Denmark is ranked 10th and South Africa is 11th in the world.
Fourth ranked Australia topped the tournament with No. 3 Canada claiming the silver and No. 7 United States bagging the bronze.
Erstwhile champion and top seed Argentina placed fourth.