Falcons soar to 3rd straight UAAP baseball diadem
Malig, the 2009 MVP who led the Falcons to a 10-0 sweep last season but struggled this year because of injury, connected on three in four times at bat and drove in two runs that helped the Falcons open a 7-3 advantage after five innings.
With their leader in sync, other veterans like Welvin Vispo, Gian Llaguno, Richard Siacor, Edward Landicho and Joselito Bermoza got the needed confidence as they combined for 12 of the Falcons' 16 hits against three Bulldogs pitchers.
Vispo ended the scoring of Adamson with a two-run single in the ninth inning to thwart the rally of NU, which threatened at 8-5 after eight innings.
The win was a follow-up to the Falcon's 3-1 win in Game One, completing a sweep of the best-of-three series and a three-peat feat.
This is the second time for Adamson to string up three straight crowns, pulling off the feat from 1991 to 1994 with Ernesto Binarao, younger brother of current coach Orlando, at the pitching mound.
“We were really determined to end this series [in Game Two] because we will not allow the Bulldogs to gain any momentum since they are title hungry. I praise the efforts of the players from my pitcher down to my hitters as they played very well," said Binarao, who proudly owns four titles in five years while donning the Adamson jersey as the team's main pitcher in the late 80s.
It was Adamson’s 11th title in UAAP baseball and it came as pitcher Romeo Jasmin was again solid at the mound, giving up 10 scattered hits and five runs with four strikeouts in a no-relief job.
“Tinatamaan din siya [Jasmin] pero ang maganda sa kanya ay kaya niyang limitahan ang kalaban lalo na sa mga crucial innings," said Binarao.
Jarus Inobio made three hits on two standing triples and a double against Jasmin and drove a run and scored two runs but his other teammates were kept at bay by the veteran Adamson pitcher, who is one of five players graduating this year.
Other players leaving the Falcons are Malig, Landicho, Jasmin, Siacor and Bermoza.
“I believe we can still defend our title next year but we will have to give our younger players exposure. I still have two pitchers whom I was not able to use this year because I opted to go with Jasmin," explained Binarao.
Unlike in the past two years when the Falcons swept their way to the title, the Falcons lost twice this season, to UP in a walkout-marred game and to NU, 4-3. But Binarao said he never lost trust in the team's ability to win this title.
“This is the hardest title we had but I really had never doubted the team's ability to win the title because the players are veterans and they know what to do to achieve our goal," Binarao said.
Jasmin retained his Best Pitcher title and also took home the Most Valuable Player award.
The Bulldogs cornered most of the individual awards with Jercel Rosita winning the Rookie of the Year accolade, Inobio taking the Most Stolen Base (15) plum, and Mick Natividad and Ram Alipio sharing the Most RBI honors with Vladimir Eguia of UP with 12.
Jojo Apura of UP emerged as the Best Hitter while UST's slugger Chun Wang Song was adjudged the Homerun King (two) and Best Slugger of the tournament. - GMANews.TV