Iloilo, Munti lead march of top squads

By Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 23 2014 08:59 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2014 04:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Iloilo leaned on the strong all-around effort of Mae Langga as it slammed Quezon City, 13-3, to seize the solo lead in Group D of major girls softball of the Little League Philippine Series at the Barangka grounds in Marikina City yesterday.

Langga, 12, pitched a two-hitter in five full innings and belted an inside-the-park grand slam in the second frame to propel Iloilo, a team composed of players from the Palanguia Elementary School in Zarraga, to its second straight win following a 16-0 romp over Baguio City.

“She’s a talented player who can pitch and bat,” said Iloilo coach Jerrylfin Gerochi of Langga, an incoming Grade 6 student.

Iloilo is one of the teams fancied to rule the division especially after coming off a huge victory over Bacolod City last January in Antique in the Western Visayas regionals to gain the right to represent Region VII in next month’s Palarong Pambansa in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

In Little League baseball, Bulacan overpowered Nueva Ecija, 16-1; Northern Samar bested Camarines Norte, 10-5, Pampanga routed Aurora, 21-8, and Pasig flattened Quezon City, 21-1.

Canlubang notched its second win as it turned back Calamba, 10-2, in Group B action for the 11-12 boys division.

Sta. Cruz also edged Dasmariñas, 8-7, while Batangas whipped Sta. Rosa, 22-1.

Earlier, Muntinlupa turned back Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 7-2, and Tanauan City blasted Ragay, Bicol, 21-1, in Little League seniors baseball at the same venue.

In junior league softball at the Marikina Sports Center, Makati blanked Quezon City, 19-0, to atone for its 1-11 defeat to Iloilo while Zambales downed Aurora, 7-0.

Over in Boystown, Gawad Kalinga Smokey Mountain edged Bulacan, 8-6, and Sta. Cruz, Laguna walloped Dasmariñas, 12-1, to post their second straight win.

Dasmariñas also rebounded from a first day setback after it trounced Naga, 27-2.

Also in Boystown, Naga bounced back from a 0-22 demolition it suffered from North Cebu as it defeated Team 5, 6-0, in Group A of Little League baseball action.

Iloilo, for its part, lorded it over Group B with a 19-1 romp over Ragay to add to the former’s 6-0 triumph over Team 5, the previous day.

Other Group B results saw Zambales thump Kalinga, 6-0, and Ilocos Norte smash Baguio, 14-4. It was Zambales’ second straight win after dumping Quirino Province, 6-0, the other day while Ilocos Norte notched its first win.

In the much-anticipated Big League baseball division match, ILLAM, mentored by Randy Dizer, overcame a power-hitting Palayan City of Nueva Ecija, 10-6.

Tanauan, however, remained the best team of the division after it chalked up its second straight win with a 20-4 rout of Antipolo City. The Tanauan batters also slammed Muntinlupa, 11-0, the other day.

Palayan, which earlier beat Antipolo, 22-4, dropped to 1-1.

“They’ve got college players who are really strong hitters. Good thing we managed to escape with a win,” said Dizer.

More than 100 teams from all over the country are seeing action in the weeklong series offering slots to the World Series in various venues in the country’s shoe capital and some parts in Pasig City.

The baseball and softball teams, numbering 112, are competing in the national championships in Little League (11-12), Junior League (14-under), Senior League (16-U), and Big League (18-U) divisions.

Winners of the Philippine Series will represent the country in the Asia Pacific regional championships in July in Clark, which will serve as the World Series qualifier.