The Philippines has won the T20 Cricket World Cup qualifier after comfortably beating Indonesia, 138-110, in the final match of the week-long, four-nation tournament.
Earlier in the day, South Korea beat second-placed Japan to put the Philippines in an unbeatable position heading into its last game against Indonesia.
The Philippines showed class and composure under pressure throughout the week to win a series of tight games.
They ended the tournament two games clear of rivals Japan and South Korea
The event was staged at Friendship Oval at Emilio Aguinaldo College, Dasmariñas, Cavite, the first time that Philippine cricket has ever hosted a major sporting event.
The historic win means the Philippines moves a step closer to the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in 2020 that is expected to be watched by more than 1.5 billion people.
The team will now travel to Papua New Guinea in 2019 where they will play Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the International Cricket Council (ICC) East Asia Pacific final.
The winner of that event will go through to the global qualifying round.
The top six teams in that event will qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
While there is still a long road to travel to make the World Cup, the Philippine team has shown in this tournament that it has arrived on the world stage.
Boosted by four dual-citizen Australian-Filipinos — Captain Jonathan Hill, Daniel Smith, Henry Tyler, and Grant Russ — the team now has the depth of talent and experience to challenge some of the best sides in the region.
“There is something special about this side,” said Hill, the captain. “We are a tight-knit group who are immensely proud to play for and represent the Philippines. They never lose focus and when the going gets tough, they get going. It’s an honor to captain them, and to make history today.”
Philippines coach Mark Pekin thanked the many Filipino supporters in the Philippines and balikbayans around the world who got caught up in the excitement of the tournament and sent the team messages of support through the Philippine Cricket Association Facebook page.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support,” said Pekin. “In many close games, their support was the difference between us winning and losing. It was like having an extra player on the field. I’m so pleased that we were able to win the Cup for them. It’s a proud day for the Philippines.”
The Philippines dedicated their win to the former general manager of the Philippine Cricket Association Iain Sinclair who passed away in August.