The Philippines opened its campaign in the XVI World Baseball & Softball Confederation Men’s Softball World Championship 2019 with a 2-11 setback to Cuba Friday night at the Hippos Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Cubans peppered Blu boys’ starting pitcher Leo Barredo with three runs in the second quarter to take an early 3-0 lead.
Although the team sent to the tournament by the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines was able to score runs in the third inning courtesy of Denmark Bathan and Ernesto Binarao, who hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, Cuba retaliated with a seven-run inning in the fourth.
“We are playing against the best teams in the world and just being here in the world championship is an honor by itself. We know it will be an uphill battle for us just as what happened in our game against Cuba but the experience our boys will get from their stint here will be invaluable for them,” said ASAPHIL President and softball patron Jean Henri Lhuillier
The Blu Boys, who last qualified in the World Championships in 2015 and not 2004 as previously reported, will next face Botswana at the Svoboda Ballpark.
The 17th-ranked Philippines is playing in Group A along with Cuba, Botswana, Argentina, Mexico, Asian champion Japan, host Czech Republic and defending champion New Zealand.
The action in the event actually started off with another Group A game that saw New Zealand sweeping aside host Czech Republic with a 9-0 victory. Group B games had Venezuela edging out South Africa, 1-0, and Canada blanking Denmark, 7-0.
Playing in Group B are Canada, Australia, USA, South Africa, Venezuela, Singapore, Denmark, and The Netherlands.
Only the top four teams in each of the two groups will advance to the quarterfinal round.
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