Tough podium climb for PH in super round

Great odds await the Philippines in its bid to secure a podium finish in the Asian Baseball Championship with a pair of perennial powerhouse foes on deck in the super round of the continental tournament being held in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Filipino batters begin the next phase of the competition on Friday with a match against South Korea before taking on host Chinese Taipei the following day at Taipei Dome, hoping to produce one upset win regardless of how slim their chances are and what kind of grind it may take.

The fourth team in the super round is Japan, which Team PH will no longer face with both belonging to Group A. The Japanese dealt the Filipinos a 9-1 manhandling on Wednesday.

Results against teams that made the super round are carried over, with Japan and Chinese Taipei posting 1-0 records while the Philippines and South Korea have identical 0-1 slates. The top two teams advance to the final while the bottom two face off for third place.

Victories over Thailand, an abbreviated 14-4 result after seven innings, and Pakistan, which ended at 4-2 after breaking the tie with two runs in the eighth inning, at the start of the tourney sealed the Philippines place in the super round.

Veteran lefty Vladimir Eguia pitched five scoreless innings while Clarence Caasalan drove in four runs in defeating Thailand.

Other teams that took part in the competition were Palestine and Hong Kong from Group A. China, usually among the top four teams in the Asian region, did not join the event.

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