Cebu and Manila hacked out victories in varying fashions to arrange a second straight title showdown in Baseball Philippines Series 9 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium Sunday.
The Dolphins peppered the Alabang Tigers with a barrage of hits in the early going to seize control and went on to fashion out a 17-9 victory in the first of two sudden deaths in the final four.
The Sharks scored four runs in the fourth inning as they fought back from three runs down to defeat Dumaguete, 12-10, in a rain-delayed match to clinch the other championship berth in the league organized by Community Sports Inc.
The Sharks, who beat the Dolphins in BP Series 8 finals to complete a three-peat, stayed on course for a fourth straight diadem by overcoming the Uni-bikers’ twice-to-beat advantage in the semis, posting a 6-1 rout in their first match last week and battling back from a 1-4 deficit yesterday to take the lead for good in the fourth frame.
The top-seeded Dolphins scored five runs in the first inning then added seven more in the fourth frame to post the runaway the victory and frustrate the Tigers, who forced the sudden death with a 9-6 romp also last week.
The best-of-three final is set July 14.
“The twice-to-beat advantage we had was really crucial for us,” said Cebu coach Isaac Bacarisas. “We were able to recover.”
Joennard Pareja hit a triple to kick off the match before scoring on a wild pitch. Aprix Santos walked with the bases loaded while Miggy Corcuera, Ram Alipio and Santos crossed home plate on an error to make it 5-0 at the top of the first.
The Dolphins led at 6-2 then exploded in the fourth on just three hits on run-scoring plays by Lorenzo Ubungen, Alipio and Santos to pull away.
Ubungen added a solo home run in a four-run eighth to increase Cebu’s lead to 17-4 before Alabang tallied five runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The league is sponsored by Gatorade, Emperador Light, Clark Development Corp., Harbour Centre, Philippine Transmarine Corp., Summit Water and Eagle Sky Inc. with backing from Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Amateur Baseball Association and the Philippine Umpires Association.
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