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Ateneo team pounds Singapore, 12-7, in HK Baseball Open

20 December 2017

The Philippine contingent is joined by Vice Consul Bob Quintin and Philippine Sluggers president Cecil Calsas in photo op.

By Vir B. Lumicao

Defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles set their sights on a third trophy as they walloped Singapore 12-7, on the opening day of the WBSC Hong Kong International Baseball Open 2017 in Lamtin, Kwuntong on Dec 14.

The Blue Eagles entered the four-day tournament with confidence, and easily hurdled the challenge from Singapore at the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground diamond on Sin Fat Road.

The Filipinos, led by team manager Randy Dizer, are eager to take home their third trophy this year despite newcomer Australia joining the tussles as an unknown factor.

The tournament opened with a simple ceremony led by Hong Kong Baseball Association president Philip Li, who welcomed the seven participating teams.

“The Hong Kong International Baseball Open is getting more and more popular in the international baseball community and moving forward to attract the participation of many more athletes,” Li said.

A team from Australia’s Sydney University debuted in the tournament, which saw Russia and China vying for honors. Eight teams – four national and four club – originally registered, but Team Nepal could not obtain visitor visas for its contingent.

Vice Consul Bob Quintin and a diplomat from the Australian Consulate General were among the dignitaries who graced the opening ceremony.

The games are all slated at Sai Tso Wan as organizers HKBA were forced to reshuffle the schedules after.

Ateneo will next play Hong Kong Blue club team in a 2:30pm match on Friday.

“We are well-prepared for this tournament,” coach Bocc Bernardo told The SUN before the opening ceremonies.

Bernardo said Hong Kong is traditionally its strongest rival for the championship. “We unseated Hong Kong last time after they became champions in 2016 because we did not participate,” he said.

The Blue Eagles beat Hong Kong Red in a tight match, 7-6, in January this year, foiling an attempt by the local boys to take back avenge their loss to the Filipinos in 2015.

Bernardo said the Hong Kong tournament is the last championship campaign for the Blue Eagles before they go to Clark late this month for several months of training. 

Dizer said he brought 20 players who can play any position in this tournament. He said that would make sure the team won’t be crippled if some players could not be fielded because of personal injuries or other causes.
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