Sharks nip Dolphins; Unibikers triumphBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
WITH ONLY pride at stake, defending champion Manila displayed toughness under fire in the ninth inning to down Cebu, 3-2, yesterday and end the Baseball Philippines Series 9 eliminations on a winning note at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Cebu Dolphins, safely in the semifinals with a twice-to-beat incentive to boot, came close to catching the three-time defending champion Sharks in the last frame when manager Isaac Bacarisas, who opted to join the action, delivered a run-scoring single with two outs.
But the Sharks held on to secure their ninth win in 15 games while leaving the Dolphins with a final 11-4 slate.
“We want to end the eliminations on a winning note because it will boost our morale,” said manager Joehl Palanog of the Sharks, who scored two runs in the fourth and had another in the seventh.
Later in the afternoon, Dumaguete routed Alabang, 14-5, to end the eliminations tied with Cebu, but the Dolphins claimed top spot by beating the Unibikers earlier.
Alabang wound up with a 7-8 record as the last semifinalist behind Manila.
In the semifinals this Sunday, Cebu will tangle with Alabang while Dumaguete, also enjoying a twice-to-beat incentive, will face Manila.
In a no-bearing first game, Taguig drubbed two-time champion Batangas, 6-3, to close out the season with a 4-11 record. The Bulls, rebuilding this season with a young, inexperienced crew, finished at 3-12.
Batangas—000 003 000—3 7 5
Taguig —000 101 22x—6 8 4
Manila —000 200 100—3 8 1
Cebu —000 001 001—2 7 2
Dumaguete—003 013 205—14 15 4
Alabang—012 011 000—5 8 3