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    Two more PH teams clinch World Series berths

    Jul 6, 2013

    THE Philippines qualified two more teams to the Softball World Series as its Big League and Senior League squads completed their romp Saturday in the 2013 Asia Pacific and Middle East Tournament at the Clark Freeport Zone Parade Grounds.

    Manila South, the reigning world champion in the 16-18 division, stormed to a 13-1 regulation rout of Guam to retain the Asia Pacific crown with a four-game sweep of their event.

    Laguna, the Philippine representatives in the Seniors (14-16), survived a tough challenge from Guam, 4-3, for a similar unbeaten run in the three-nation, two-round eliminations.

    Manila and Laguna will go to Sussex County in Delaware for the World Series set August 4 to 10.

    The double championship followed the conquest and World Series-qualification of compatriot Iloilo Province in the majors (11-12) three days ago.

    ILLAM is also in the hunt for the Senior League baseball plum and will battle CNMI on Sunday.

    The Manila softbelles exploded with six runs in the fourth inning with Gelyn Lamata providing the spark with a grand slam to pull away, 11-1.

    Lamata went three-for-four and delivered five runs batted in. The Filipinas peppered Guam's Saij Duenas and Alexis Aguero with 15 hits overall.

    Starter Hazel Anque gave up two hits and a run in three innings, while closer Baby Jane Raro shut out Guam the rest of the way.

    "This is what we've really been preparing for and targeting from the start. We want to return to the US to defend our title, especially this year when the tournament (Big League Softball World Series) relocates to Delaware," said coach Ana Santiago of Manila.

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    The Laguna Senior Leaguers pounced on Guam’s erratic throwing and fielding to seize a 4-0 lead in the third inning then hung tough against the visitors' furious fightback in the last three frames.

    "The girls really wanted to win and get the crown," said coach Lorena Bernardino, whose wards gave Laguna its first World Series berth since 2007. Visa problems prevented the 2007 team from going to the US.

    Fancied foreign teams, meanwhile, flexed their muscles in baseball action in the regionals sponsored by Clark Development Corp., Philippine Sports Commission and KFC.

    Chinese-Taipei nipped Philippine representative Muntinlupa, 10-1, to sweep their way to the Big League diadem, while Japan defeated Guam, 7-3, to rule the inaugural 50/70 intermediate division, where Philippine entry Muntinlipa placed third after beating Indonesia, 16-12.

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