Manila faces Los Angeles for WS crown
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TEAM Manila’s remarkable rise from the rubble in the Big League World Series is almost complete.
The Manila softbelles—Asia Pacific’s representative—hammered out a come-from-behind 11-6 victory over Connell Park of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Tuesday to clinch the second finals berth in the prestigious tournament at Vanderberg Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Hoping to bring some good news to the country ravaged by flood the past two days, the Filipino clouters face US West representative Los Angeles at 4 p.m. Wednesday (4 a.m., Thursday in Manila) for the title.
US West defeated a travel-weary Manila squad, 9-6, on opening-day last Wednesday.
Manila, made up of standouts from Adamson U, University of the East, University of Santo Tomas and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, is actually back in familiar territory, having been to the finals three times in the last four years.
All of those trips ended in heartbreak—twice against Grand Rapids—but the team is brimming with optimism after racking up six straight wins in a tremendous recovery from a 0-2 start.
“The championship has eluded us for quite some time but we dare to say it is much closer now,” said Manila Little League president and Manila councilor Rafael “Che” Borromeo.
Needing a victory in their last elimination round game after toppling Grand Rapids Monday, the Manila softbelles racked up five homeruns to leave Connel Park winless in their World Series stint.
Sabobo hit two homeruns and finished with five RBIs, while Michelle Lentija pitched five solid innings aside from hitting a solo homerun at the top of the third inning. Lentija whose double also scored Krisna Paguican in the fourth inning raised her hitting average to a tournament-best .667.
Rizza Bernardino also hit a homerun after Kristine Joy Lacupa sparked the rout with the first of five homeruns in the second inning for Manila, which easily rallied from a 1-3 deficit after the first inning. Sabobo belted a two-run homerun to finish off Connell Park at the top of the sixth inning. Cedelf P. Tupas