MANILA, Philippines – After a rousing win over Philippine Air Force last weekend, the veteran Thunderz All-Stars needed a clutch performance from Justin Zialcita in a come-from-behind win over the UST Golden Sox, 7-6, Saturday.
"Coming from a win against Air Force, medyo nag-relax yung team," lamented shortstop Aids Bernardo. "Good thing na as the game went on, dun lumabas yung pagiging beterano namin. Tulong-tulong talaga."
Behind Raymond Vargas' slugging, the All-Stars were down 4-5 heading into the sixth inning during the match held at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in Manila
Zialcita came alive at that point, blasting a clutch three-run double to put Thunderz ahead for good.
"He was in a slump. Pero like our team, diesel siya e," Bernardo said of Zialcita, a second baseman. "We knew that it would come at we continued giving him the confidence na mahahanap din niya yung palo niya."
Bernardo, who pitched the 2 2/3 innings of the game, closed out the game with six strikeouts, sealing his second win in the 2019 Philippine Baseball League Open Conference.
With the win, Thunderz rose to the top of Group B with a 2-0 record in the tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Joining them at Group B's pole position are the RTU-Alums Thunder, who defeated the debuting UP Fighting Maroons earlier in the day, 5-2.
Jay Pacudan steered the older generation of RTU batters by allowing just two hits when he was on the mound while going 3-of-4 at-bat on the other end.
In the last game of the day, the NU Bulldogs evened their slate to 1-1 in Group A after blasting the RTU Thunder, 9-5. The current RTU squad fell to 0-2.
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