ADAMSON Alumni overpowered National University, 15-5, on Monday to arrange a title showdown with defending champion Chikara of Brunei in the 9th Summer Grand Slam softball tournament at the Clark Freeport Zone in Clark, Pampanga.
Brunei’s powerhouse softball team Chikara sustained its fightback from an opening day setback to reach the finals for the second straight year although it needed two extra innings to edge Adamson University, 2-1, in the other semifinal.
The Chikara clouters pounced on Rizelle Calumbares’s catching error in the ninth to score the winning run and end the tight-fought contest in the penultimate playdate of the week-long event organized by the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines.
Chikara’s win also put it on track for a payback against Adamson-Alumni, which stunned the Brunei-based squad with a 6-5 thriller in the opening game last week.
Hurler Syrel Ramos, member of the Philippine women softball team from 2003-2010, is spearheading Chikara’s title drive in the event along with six other former Philippine team players now part of the team based in Brunei.
“We’re in for an exciting finish. The defending champion Chikara and Philippine Air Force are still in the hunt for title repeat but a host of other strong teams are out to foil them. We are very happy with how the tournament has unfolded. I think we have discovered some fresh talents already which is the main goal of this competition,” said AsaPhil president Jean Henri Lhuillier.
In the men’s club division, Rizal Technological University relied on the brilliant performance of pitcher Rich Field Custodio and an early scoring spree to beat San Ildefonso, Bulacan, 9-2, in the tournament sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier.
The Mandaluyong-based squad needed just four-and-a-half innings to down San Ildefonso and advance to the finals against the winner in the San Antonio Quezon vs. Calamba City match.