Tanauan’s Kean Matanguihan in action during the Little League finals at theLittle League Asia Pacific Regional Championships at the Clark Freeport Zone parade grounds in Angeles City.
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE – Tanauan committed too many critical errors and fell to Japan again, 2-6, in the Minor League finals of the Little League Asia Pacific Regional Championships at the Clark parade grounds in Angeles City, Pampanga on Saturday.
The undefeated Japanese pounced on these miscues, particularly in a three-run fourth inning, on the way to capping a six-game sweep of the 11-12-year-old division at the close of the week-long competition that drew close to 1,000 participants from 52 squads and 16 countries.
South Korea dethroned Japan, 4-2, in capturing the 50-70 Intermediate (11-13-year-old) championship, while Marianas nosed out Guam, 8-6, in bagging the Senior League (13-16-year-old) title of the event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Clark Development Corp., Limitless Possibilities and KFC.
The South Koreans made it a double celebration by drubbing Hong Kong, 11-0, in copping the prestigious Little League (11-12-year-old) title in a match was delayed by nearly an hour because of heavy afternoon downpour
“Sa umpisa pa lang, sa errors talaga po nagkatalo,” rued Tanauan coach Ted Landicho after his wards committed seven of them, three in that fateful fourth frame, compared to the three of their Japanese foes.
The Tanauan batters merely had one less hit (4-5) than the Japanese but could not overcome sloppy performance on the field.
Relief pitcher Yuichi Ota, who came in the bottom of the fifth, preserved the gains of his teammates by striking out six of the eight Tanauan batters, including Dave Mailom, Royce Trinidad and France Daniel Mendoza in succession in the lower sixth.
Assessing the event, PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, who also serves as LL Philippines administrator, noted that “the fact that the matches went smoothly and had minor problems shows that we really prepared well for this competition.”
But after hosting the LL Asia Pacific qualifiers two years in a row, Gomez said “I think it is time for somebody else to host the tournament because it really takes a lot of time and preparation to mount an event of this magnitude. ”
Although the Philippines failed to win a single title baseball, the country swept all the softball events, with Manila South and Iloilo retaining their Big League (14-18-year-old) and Little League (11-12-year-old) titles, respectively.
Debuting Smokey Mountain was the third local squad, winning the Senior League (13-16-year-old) championship.
The Manila South and Smokey Mountain girls will represent the country in the LL World Big and Senior League Series slated Aug. 3-9 in Lower Sussex, Delaware; while the Ilonggos will be vying in the LL World Major League Series set Aug. 7-13 in Portland, Oregon.