Defending Champion Manila and Series V winner Batangas hammered out contrasting wins yesterday to forge a title showdown in the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series VII at the Felino Marcelino Baseball Stadium in Taguig City.
The Manila Sharks, drawing stellar efforts from Jon Jon Robles and Junifer Pinero, downed the Cebu Dolphins, 13-5, after the Batangas Bulls pounced on the error-prone Alabang Tigers, 7-6.
Robles and Pinero sparkled in a four-run fourth-inning binge for the Harbour Centre-backed Manila batters, who peppered the Dolphins with 10 hits.
Robles, after giving up two two-run homeruns, belted a base hit to score Nino Tator and Pinero, who delivered an RBI single to score Francis Candela and Marvin Malig that gave Manila a 9-4 lead.
Batangas and Manila start their best-of-three championship series on Dec. 11, a rematch of the Series V finals showdown.
The Bulls sat on a 7-2 lead after scoring three runs in the fourth inning, where Carlo Banzon hit an RBI double, before scoring on an error along with Teddy Landicho.
Nico Dizer and Alberto De Leon had earlier reached home on two more errors by Alabang for a 4-2 cushion.
Batangas coach Randy Dizer was far from satisfied with the win.
“This is the worst game we have played in this series,” said Dizer. “I told them that they are too relaxed thinking that it will be an easy game even at the start of the game.”
The Tigers rallied behind Martinez and Laurel, who delivered a pair of singles before scoring on a catching error in the outfield in the eighth.