Japan's Misson Number One Completed!!!
12th September 2019
Japan's mission number one completed - to with the Under-17 Men's Softball Asia Cup - and now their eyes are set on the World Cup Under-19 next year in Palmerston, New Zealand.
This morning, the superior Japanese team downed Singapore 15-0 in three innings under the run ahead rule in the final at University Technology Malaysia grounds in Skudai, Johor Bahru, for their third consecutive win over the Lions in the tournament.
Singapore had earlier in the morning defeated India 8-1 over five innings, to book their place in the Grand Final to meet Japan.
Earlier in the Group match, Singapore had lost to Japan 10-0 and then in the page round lost 12-0.
India on the other hand, who had raised their game to defeat Philippines 4-3 over seven innings in the page round, were a pale shadow of themselves today, where their pitching and catching was below par, which let them down miserably.
Japan who are ranked second and third in the world of softball in the women's and men's category respectively, despite being a youth tournament, proved their class above the other teams in the tournament here.
Japan in the final, stamped their authority over Singapore and raced to 10 runs in the very first inning and had another five runs in the third inning to wrap up the game.
"We have done our job here, and now for the World Cup in New Zealand. We are bent on winning the World Cup after having finished runners in the previous Under-19 World Cup in Canada," said Japan's head coach Yukihiro Tanaka through interpreter Takuya Noga.
It will also be back to the drawing board because this team was assembled at he eleventh hour after we found out that it was an Under-17 tournament and not Under-18.
"We will be having fresh selections in November to pick the very best in the age group in Japan, although a bulk of the players will be from this team. We will definitely come to New Zealand a stronger team," added Tanaka who said their first phase of centralised training will be held after the fresh selection.
Singapore on the other hand, despite losing to Japan for the third consecutive time in the tournament, sought consolation that they have qualified for the World Cup as the runners-up team.
"It has been a good tournament for the players and playing against Japan and losing all three times, gives us a clear indication of the kind of standard we can expect in New Zealand," said Singapore coach Muhammad Farhan Harahap Amiruddin.
"We will definitely be strengthening our team and holding fresh selection because many of our players were unable to play here because they had their school's examinations."
"We have also to get back to our association in terms of funding for out trip to New Zealand and also our trainign programme for the World Cup."
Grand Final : Japan vs Singapore (15 - 0)
Final : Singapore vs India (8 - 1)
4th placing : India vs Philippines (4 - 3)
5th/6th placing : Thailand vs Malaysia (4 - 3)
MEDIA REPORT (DAY 2)
9th Sept, 2019
2019 U17 MEN’S SOFTBALL ASIA CUP
Singapore are keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground despite having chalked three wins out of four games and are set for the page round in the Under-17 Men’s Softball Asia Cup tournament at University Technology Malaysia grounds in Skudai, Johor Bahru today.
The Lions chalked their third victory this morning when they disposed of Thailand 7-0 in five innings. On the opening day they had defeated Philippines 8-4 and India 2-1 in more keenly fought battles.
However, against Japan this afternoon against a much more superior opponent, they bowed down 10-0. It was the team from the Land of Rising Sun’s fourth consecutive win.
Earlier in the morning, Japan had defeated India by a similar 10-0 win in four innings gaining 3 runs each in the first and second innings and four in the fourth.
“We are certainly happy with the progress of our team so far despite the loss to Japan who are far more superior team in the tournament. But we are not celebrating yet with our final game against Malaysia tomorrow (Tuesday),” said coach Muhammad Farhan Harahap Amiruddin who coaches the team together with Koh Ruoh Jie and pitching coach Mendoza William Jess.
“Our target is to finish among the top two to qualify for the World Cup Under-18 next year in Palmerston, New Zealand,” said team manager Diamond So Beng Seng.
Farhan said at this stage nothing is confirmed because there is still the page round.
“Nothing can happen there because we will probably meet India whom we beat narrowly in closely fought game or Philippines who is improving with each game,” said Farhan.
“We need to keep our players focussed because even against Malaysia tomorrow it could be close because of the sports rivalry between the two nations.”
Asked if Singapore was surprised with their performance especially against the likes of Thailand and Philippines who have a bigger following in the game and are ranked higher for the senior teams.
“At age group tournaments, it is difficult to gauge the standards of teams and it is not consistent because unlike the senior teams when the players are around for three or four years at least, at age-group tournaments players keep changing every year and performances is not consistent,” said Diamond.
Singapore themselves have a good development programme for the last three years where all their national teams play in as many tournaments as possible in a year for exposure besides training regularly.
Diamond said, like Japan, they too had initially thought that this tournament was Under-18.
“We had to change eight players who were overaged to brining in 15 and 16 year olds for this U17 tournament,” said Diamond,
“However, despite the changes, we have managed to do well mainly because of our development programme where we have a pool of players.”
India kept their hopes alive for the page round when they defeated Philippines 5-2 for their second win after having defeated Malaysia 3-1 on the opening day.
India narrowly lost to Singapore 1-2 on Sunday, before going down to Japan in this morning, 17-0.
Tomorrow their final game is against Thailand which will play a key part in them qualifying for the page round.
Malaysia Philippines 0-10
Japan India 17-0
Singapore Thailand 7-0
Philippines India 2-5
Malaysia Thailand 0-3
Japan Singapore 10-0
MEDIA REPORT (DAY 1)
2019 U17 MEN’S SOFTBALL ASIA CUP
Pre-tournament favourites Japan hardly were tested as they cruised to two easy opening victories against Thailand and Malaysia at the Under-17 Men’s Softball Asia Cup tournament at University Technology Malaysia grounds in Skudai, Johor Bahru today (Sunday).
In the opening match in the morning against Thailand, Japan won the game 19-0 in three innings in the run ahead rules before disposing Malaysia 10-0 in four innings.
Japan who are ranked second and third in the world of softball in the women’s and men’s category respectively, did not hide their intentions to become champions here and qualify as one of the two the top two teams to play in the World Cup Under-19 next year in Palmerston, New Zealand.
“We came here with the best youth players in Japan and our intention is very clear – to emerge tops here and head to New Zealand next year to avenge out second playing in the last Under-19 World Cup in Canada,” said Japan’s head coach Yukihiro Tanaka through interpreter Takuya Noga after the match against Malaysia.
The World Cup has now been brought down to Under-18.
“We lost to Canada at the last World Cup and although it was the Under-19 World Cup, but now changed to Under-18, we want to be champions,” added Noga.
“We have had a good start today and hope to continue our dominance.”
This team had only trained for less than two months because initially, they had made a mistake thinking that it was an Under-18 tournament and made selection accordingly.
“But when we found out that it was Under-17 here in Malaysia, we had to make a fresh selection.
“But we have a good pool of talented players and despite the short period of training they have done well.”
Singapore too created waves when they upset Philippines 8-4 in their opening morning match before downing India narrowly in a hard fought game 2-1 in the afternoon to remain unbeaten together with Japan after the opening day.
Earlier in the morning, there was short opening ceremony which was attended by Datuk Low Beng Choo, Softball Asia President and World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Abdul Malik Abdul Ghani, Sport Director of University Technology Malaysia, Kosol Yimpaiboon, Vice president Softball Asia and President Softball Thailand, Sally Lim, Softball Asia Secretary General, See Kok Wooi, president of Softball Association of Malaysia and S. Ramesh local organising committee chairman.
“Softball Asia delegates decided unanimously at our Congress held in Kuala Lumpur on 5th December last year to have the qualifier as an Under-17 tournament, so that the players from the top two teams qualifying from here, may continue to play in the World Cup Under-18 next year in Palmerston, New Zealand,” said Low.
“This will ensure that continuity in development as teams who qualify would be able to start preparations early as there is an opportunity for all players playing here to play.
“It is indeed an honour for Softball Asia to organise this inaugural Asia Cup Under 17 Men Softball 2019 in collaboration with Softball Association of Malaysia. We are indeed grateful to SAM for standing in on such short notice to take over the challenging responsibility to be the local host,” said Low.
The first round continues for the next two days before the page rounds on Tuesday and the final on Thursday after a rest day on Wednesday.
Philippines 4 Singapore 8
Japan 19 Thailand 0
Malaysia 1 India 3
Philippines 15 Thailand 3
Japan 10 Malaysia 0