Tanauan, San Antonio forge Little League title showdown
MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion Tanauan City and unheralded San Antonio, Zambales, blasted their respective semifinals foes Sunday to arrange a showdown for the centerpiece Little League (11-12 years old) championship in the Philippine Series at Sumulong ground in Marikina City.
Tanauan drubbed title favorite Illam (International Little League Association-Manila), 15-5, to get back to the finals of the division it dominated last year in their backyard in Batangas.
San Antonio thumped Camarines Norte, 10-0, to make its first finals appearance.
Tanauan coach Romar Landicho acknowledge his wards’ overwhelming edge in experience in the title match but cautioned them against falling into complacency.
The team will represent Calabarzon in Palarong Pambansa later this week.
“Everyone can beat us, if we allow them to,” said Landicho, whose squad—practically the same one that won the title last year—reached the semifinals with a 17-0 rout of Gen. Trias.
San Antonio coach Conrado Gutierrez said they are happy to have improved on their quarterfinal finish last year. Winners in all divisions of the Philippine Series will qualify for the Asia Pacific Series slated in June at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga. The As-Pac Series serves as the qualifyer for the World Series in the United States.
“Making the finals is already an accomplishment for us and if we win, it will be a bonus,” added Gutierrez, who steered San Antonio to the North-Central Luzon title over Bulacan, 6-3. Illam found some consolation in Senior League (16-under) baseball when it thrashed Muntinlupa, 13-3, to reach the finals.
It also gained a championship berth in Junior League (14-under) baseball with a 12-2 triumph over Tanauan.
In Little League softball, Iloilo thrashed Illam, 12-0, to forge a championship match with Tanauan.
Gawad Kalinga Smokey Mountain clobbered Bulacan, 15-5, and set up a clash with Sta. Cruz, Laguna, a 12-0 winner over Dasmarinas, in the senior league (16-under) softball.
The Philippine Series is sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and organized by Little League Philippines administrator Jolly Gomez, who is also a PSC commissioner.