Posted on 02 August 2010
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Jon Jon Robles pitched a two-hitter in a no-relief job as the Manila Sharks nipped the Cebu Dolphins, 2-1, to capture their first ever crown in the Dunkin Donuts Baseball Philippines Series VI at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium in Barangay Ususan, Taguig City on Saturday.
Dragged into the sudden death by the Dolphins in their best of three series, the Sharks leaned on Robles and third baseman Nino Tator to finally dispose of the former two-time champions and clinch their breakthrough victory in the league presented by Dunkin Donuts.
Robles, 24, held his ground on the mound, allowing only two hits and one run in a complete game while striking out 10 batters and retiring the last 24 to bag the finals MVP honors.
Tator, on the other hand, delivered the go-ahead run after slamming his third double of the game in the fifth, scoring Christian Galedo, who singled and stole second base, that proved to be enough to give the Mikee Romero-owned franchise the crown.
It was the Sharks’ first championship after two failed bids – in Series II against the Dolphins and in Series V against the Batangas Bulls.
“We deserve this crown,” said Manila team manager Jhoel Palanog, whose wards took the series opener, 5-3, but lost the next. 9-10, in a thrilling duel.
“They made all the sacrifices and they trusted each other.”
Meanwhile, the game will be aired on NBN-4 on Aug. 5 starting at 2 p.m.
Manila topped the elims with a 4-1 record and gained the No. 1 seed in the semifinals where the Sharks defeated the Alabang Tigers to reach the finals.
“From the start, we got aggressive in our preseason pick-ups and I think that really started our run,” said Palanog.
Cebu broke the ice after hurler Edmer Del Socorro scored on a groundout by Jonard Pareja in the second inning.But the Sharks countered in the third on an RBI single by first baseman Marvin
Malig that scored Galedo, who reached first on an error and second on a double by Tator.
Then Robles took over.
In the ninth after a groundout on Cebu coach Isaac Bacarisas and Fulgencio Rances, Robles forced a lineout on Joseph Orillana on the first pitch as the Dolphins stormed onto the field to celebrate the championship.
“I’m happy with the overwhelming trust the team gave me,” said Robles, who had a stint in the Czech Republic and who only yielded a hit in Manila’s 5-3 win in Game 1.
Del Socorro had a respectable outing in place of Orillana, who was ineligible to pitch Game 3 after exceeding the 50-pitch count rule in Game 2, fanning eight batters but allowing eight hits.
The Sharks also played minus national pitcher Charlie Labrador, who also threw more than 50 pitches in Game 2 in the tournament sponsored by Gatorade, Industrial Enterprises Inc., Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc., Harbour Centre and The Heritage Park with the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, Philippine Umpires Association and Sports Radio 918 as partners.
Cebu 010 000 000 1 2 1
Manila 001 010 00x 2 8 0
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