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It may be a day that will be hard to match in Philippine sports as three (3) local teams emerged champions against foreign team sin their respective divisions at the recently concluded PANGAEA Cup International Slo-pitch Tournament at the Alabang Country Club.

Now on its 12th year of staging, the Philippine charge in the tournament was led by RP-Cebuana Lhuillier which completely dominated the Dubai-based Just 1 More Team right from the opening inning when the local team exploded for seven (7) runs against the visiting team which could only come up with two (2) runs of its own in the same inning.

It was the same story in the succeeding innings as Cebuana Lhuillier pitcher Rey Atienza controlled the batters of Just 1 More while the local batters had a flurry of homeruns. Scoring runs in all the remaining innings to end the game with a lopsided score 26-6 in the local team's favor, seemed second nature to the champions.

It was the second straight year that Cebuana Lhuillier has won the Super Division title in the prestigious club level tournament that attracted 13 local and foreign teams from all over Asia.

Cebuana Lhuillier earlier swept the eliminations round among the elite five (5) teams, then beat Tilac Fattboyz 24-18 in a semifinals match to advance to the finals against just 1 More, which in turn had to subdue the Korea Guzzlers 17-13 to earn the other finals slot.

"We were waiting for our break - out game as in all our previous games. We would play a decent game then followed by a not so decent game, but then everything fell into place in the finals and finally we had the break-out game we expected," said playing team owner Jean Henri Lhuillier.

He added that "I guess our victory proves that we are now a major power in slo-pitch softball in Asia at least at the club level and we can say we are one of the best, of not the best club team right now in this part of the world. Last year, we won for the forts time both the Super Division championships of the PANGAEA Cup and the Bangkok International Slo-pitch league."

On his part, playing coach Davy Lan Perez attributed the victory to a total team effort, "I told the boys before the game that we were in for a tough fight considering that we beat this team by only one (1) run in our earlier game. We expected to win but not in this fashion, everything worked for us, our pitching, batting and defense."

Completing the Philippine sweep in the three (3) day tournament was the victory by Meralco over the Hong Kong Turkeys, 14-13 to win the Division A championship while a local MSSL selection outside of Cebuana Lhuillier and Meralco players, and sponsored by Lhuillier's Le Soleil de Boracay, defeated the gas House Gang 9-8 to emerge champion at the Club level.

As an incentive, Lhuillier will bring his champion team to Jakarta in May to play in another tough international slo-pitch softball tournament.

Copyright © 2005 PJ LHUILLIER, INC. All rights reserved.