Dolphins, Sharks brace for title duel
MANILA, Philippines - The Cebu Dolphins and Manila Sharks battle for the Baseball Philippines crown for the fourth time as the showdown for the Series 9 championship begins on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Cebu and Manila face each other for the second consecutive time in the finals with the Dolphins looking to bounce back after being swept by the Sharks in Season 8.
Game 2 is set Sunday while Game 3, if necessary, will be on July 21.
Manila, the defending champion and third ranked team, took a harder route, overcoming the twice-to-beat advantage of Dumaguete in the semifinals to arrange another title duel with Cebu.
With both teams no stranger to each other in the postseason, coaches of the Finals protagonists said the series is too close to call when asked to assess their chances in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Ave.
“It’s tough to predict the series but whoever wins Game One has a big chance to go straight,” said Cebu Dolphins coach Isaac Bacarisas, who was accompanied by his players Joennard Pareja, Lorenzo Ubungen and Ram Casey Alipio, in Filipino.
Manila is shooting for its fourth consecutive title but the team admits that Cebu can match-up well against them.
“The last two championships that we had, we swept Batangas and Cebu but this time, it will be difficult to tell because these two teams match up well,” said Manila coach Jhoel Palanog, who was joined in the forum presented by Shakey’s, Pagcor and Smart, by assistant general manager Eric Cadavillo and player Emerson Atilano.