Manila whips Grand Rapids
Nears Big League softball final
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The team that has thrived in adversity moved closer to getting its reward while putting a dent on a former tormentor’s title bid.
Proving its worth, Team Manila took a big step of returning to the 2012 Big League World Series Softball final after crushing defending champion Grand Rapids, 12-2, Monday at Vanderberg Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Filipino softbelles peppered the tournament winners of the past two years with 17 hits that enabled them to secure their sixth straight victory after opening their bid with back-to-back defeats.
It was sweet revenge for Team Manila, which lost three title matches against Grand Rapids in the last four years.
“I think this is the best (game they’ve played this week) because I’m surprised with the hitting of my players, and, of course, against one of the top teams,” Manila coach Ana Santiago was quoted as saying by Michigan news website mlive.com.
If the Filipinos hurdle Scranton, Pennsylvania, in their last preliminary round game, they will set up a championship duel with Westchester, California, which dealt them one of their two losses.
Grand Rapids could also finish pool play with a 6-2 record just like Manila if it beats Canada in its last game, but the Filipinos own the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Rizza Bernardino, one of the vital cogs of the Filipinos’ run to the finals in the last two years, held Grand Rapids to just four hits, while Gene Joy Parilla and Queeny Sabobo wielded hot bats with three hits apiece for Manila.
The team nearly failed to make the tournament as Manila Little League president and Manila councilor Rafael “Che” Borromeo scrounged for funds for its trip.
In fact, Manila did not have the full complement of 15 players in its squad because of lack of funds.
Borromeo said he was able to convince a Manila-based travel agency to defer payment for additional players to the team to beef up the squad. Cedelf P. Tupas