The Sharks vent their ire on the hometown Alabang Tigers with a huge scoring-binge in the first three innings before winning the game on abbreviated six-inning game because of a heavy downpour at the Alabang Country Club.
Final score: 15-7 and Manila earned the first semifinals berth following its third win in four games.
Capitalizing on the inexperienced Alabang pitchers, the squad of coach Jhoel Palanog led 11-0 after three innings highlighted by nine combined runs in the second and third innings.
Even a mini-run by the Tigers couldn’t stop the Sharks as they continued to grab the lead before the scorching heat was covered with dark clouds.
Then lightning came and the heavy rains fell onto the field, forcing league officials to stop the game in favor of the Sharks.
Now in the semis, the last thing the Big City batters want now is to gain one of the two twice-to-beat incentives in the semifinals. To get that, they will face host Forward Taguig next week in their final elimination round assignment.
Catcher Rommel Roja and Saxon Omandac were the ones who led the scoring binge for Manila.
Roja, a member of the National team, produced three RBIs off two hits in three at-bats while drawing one walk. He put the Sharks on the board on a two-run single in the first then brought home another runner in the next inning.
Omandac, meanwhile, finished with four RBIs off three hits and two doubles in one of the best offensive games of his BP career.
The two also conspired to make the best defensive play of the afternoon during the first inning.
Matt Laurel hit one into centerfielder and speedster Paolo Mallari had a chance to score the first run of the contest for the Tigers. But Omandac threw it to Roja, who made a good block at the plate before tagging Mallari home to end the inning.
Alabang made things interesting in the fourth as Bernard Siaotong blasted a two-run homer off Mick Natividad that eventually helped the Tigers moved within 11-5 at the end of the side.
But the Muntinlupa batters fell to an even 2-2 slate and needs to win their last elimination round assignment against the Batangas Bulls to at least gain a spot in the semifinals.
Jonjon Robles made his pitching appearance of the tournament and had a solid two-inning outing before being replaced by Omandac. He also singled in his only at-bat during the top half of the sixth.
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