The annual Hong Kong Shanghai Alliance WBSC Hong Kong International Baseball Open 2016 (HKIBO) wrapped up in Hong Kong earlier. Thank you Hong Kong Shanghai Alliance to title-sponsor this tournament, Hong Kong SAR Government for its subvention to make this tournament possible and Wolrd Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) grants a sanction to HKIBO 2016.
After four days of action-packed baseball, Ateneo Blue Eagles from the Philippines came from behind to defeat Hong Kong Red through an epic 7:6 victory in the Championship Game, snatching its second WBSC HKIBO championship since 2014.
This year’s competition, as usual, attracted eight contesting teams from various parts of the world. Defending champion Hong Kong Red and 2014 champion Ateneo Blue Eagles showed great form in the group stage and powered their respective ways into the Championship Game through an impressive 100% winning record.
In the highly-anticipated Championship Game, Hong Kong Red got off to a firing start and put four runs on the board quickly, establishing an early lead in the process. However, former Champion Ateneo Blue Eagles weathered the early storm and gained composure along the way, gradually crawling back before finally edging Hong Kong Red through a 7:6 victory and claiming its second WBSC HKIBO title since 2014.
Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Randy Dozier was glad to see the team triumphing against all odds. “We conceded several runs at the start of the game but I told the players we still had a lot of time to come back. The players never gave up on the field nor inside the dugout and that was a credit to their spirit. They kept encouraging one another and gave their all while trying to comeback. That really impressed me,” Dozier expressed.
Hong Kong Red starting pitcher Leung Chung-hei, who started for his side in the Championship Game, was understandable disappointed about the outcome. “We started the game well and took an early lead. Then we got into a bit of trouble in the middle of the game, started to allow runs and ended up leaving the door open for the opponent to comeback, which was a very disappointing way to lose,” Leung said.
Text and Images: 901 Media and Agency
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