October 9, 2017
Without much expectations, the Philippines fought valiantly and settled for a fourth place finish in the 28th Asian Baseball Championship at Xinhuang Stadium in New Taipei City in Taiwan.
The Filipino batters bowed to 2015 champions Korea, 15-0, in the battle for third on Sunday to wrap up their respectable run for a team largely comprised of homegrown talents.
Defying the odds, the squad largely made up of standouts from the UAAP gave it their all as they proudly fought for flag and country in the mound.
The Philippines went 1-2 in Group A of the classification round after facing off against Asian baseball giants in the process.
The Nationals dropped their tournament opener, 2-12, against home team and world number four Chinese Taipei on Monday, before rebounding with a confidence-boosting 8-5 win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The Filipinos, then, suffered a 3-18 beatdown at the hands of Korea to finish the group stage.
But given a new lease on life to progress to the super round, the Philippines made the most of its opportunity, blanking Hong Kong, 10-0, in the do-or-die match on Thursday to move on.
However, the powerhouse foes just got the better of the Filipino batters as they lost again to Chinese Taipei, 0-14, on Friday, and to Korea, 0-11, on Saturday.
Though the Philippines failed to make it to the top three and earn a ticket to the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup next year, the campaign was still a source of pride for the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) with coach Egay delos Reyes calling the shots.
The Filipinos drew standout performances from former Baseball Philippines MVP Joennard Pareja, reigning UAAP best pitcher Paulo Macasaet and shortstop Aids Bernardo of Ateneo, La Salle’s Carlos Munoz and Diego Lozano, Adamson’s Erwin Bosito and Mark Manaig, and NU’s Junmar Diarao.