By Jerome Lagunzad
World power Japan remained a perplexing puzzle to solve for Team Philippines as the Blu Boys fell prey, 4-0, in the 10th Asian Men’s Softball Championships final yesterday at the Gelora Bung Karno Softball Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Japanese, ranked third in the world, reasserted their dominance over the Blu Boys as they clinched the coveted continental crown for the seventh straight year, all coming at the expense of the Filipinos.
However, the Blu Boys still have enough reasons to keep their heads up since they already secured their spot in next year’s World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic as one of top 3 finishers in the Asian level.
Joining Japan and the Philippines, a former two-time Asian champion, in the world meet is Singapore, which finished third overall.
In the single round of eliminations, the Blu Boys made a good account of themselves as they played near flawless, dropping just one of their eight matches. However, that stinging loss—a 12-1 decision—was inflicted by the Japanese no less.
In the playoffs, the Nationals also dropped a 6-0 decision to the Japanese but kept their title hopes alive by venting their ire on the Singaporeans.
The six-day long event, which also features six other countries such as Chinese Taipie, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Thailand and host Indonsia, also served as a test event for the upcoming Asian Games set to be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang.