Manila bags Baseball Philippines Series VI crown
The Sharks, behind lefty pitcher Jon Jon Robles, pulled off a 2-1 win over the Cebu Sharks to clinch the Series VI title on Saturday at the Felino Marcelino Memorial Baseball Field in Taguig City.
Robles limited Cebu to just two hits while striking out 10 of the Dolphins' batters. Niño Tator went 4-for-4 with three doubles while Christian Galedo scored the Sharks' two runs to highlight Manila's Game 3 win.
This is Manila's first title after three second place finishes showing its determination by scoring both runs in two-out situations.
“The key here is trust. We trust each other. This is sweet because this is our first crown and the team deserved this title because the players made their sacrifices," said Manila team manager Jhoel Palanog.
The loss foiled the Dolphins' drive for a third title with Edmer Del Socorro, who was tagged with the loss, gave up two earned runs behind eight hits while fanning four.
A Jonard Pareja error in the third inning proved costly for the Dolphins as that allowed the Sharks to tie the count.
Cebu scored the first run in the second inning with Del Socorro doubled to center to tag Robles with his second hit in the game. He advanced to third on a Pareja sacrifice fly before scooting home on a squeeze play by Ram Alipio.
That, however, was the last time that the Dolphins scored and worse reached a base, as Robles, who also brought his talent to the Czech Republic last year, retired Cebu’s entire batting order.
Del Socorro seemed to be in control in the fifth inning after retiring Cebu’s first batters. But Galedo singled to center and then stole second base to move in scoring position.
Tator did not let the situation pass and whacked a double to bring Galedo home for the go-ahead run.
Robles, taken in by the Sharks during the off season, was named league MVP. He was the winning pitcher in Manila’s Game 1 win, 5-3.
“I struggled in the eliminations because I was not able to play for the past nine months. But with the help and support of my teammates, I managed to bring my old self back," said the 25-year old pitcher who led UST to two UAAP titles.
It was also the second Baseball Philippines title for Robles after leading the Makati Mariners to the inaugural crown. – JVP, GMANews.TV