ASPAC regionals cut short by storm

Tropical Storm Chan-Hom cut short the 2015 Asia Pacific Middle East Junior, Senior, and Big League Regional Baseball Tournament as games at the Francisco M. “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field were called off last Saturday afternoon.

The CNMI’s Lorenzo Sebaklim, left, watches the pitcher, while getting ready to run toward second base in their second round game against Guam in the Senior League division of the 2015 Asia Pacific Middle East Junior, Senior, and Big League Regional Baseball Tournament last week at the Francisco M. “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field. (Jon Perez)

The CNMI’s Lorenzo Sebaklim, left, watches the pitcher, while getting ready to run toward second base in their second round game against Guam in the Senior League division of the 2015 Asia Pacific Middle East Junior, Senior, and Big League Regional Baseball Tournament last week at the Francisco M. “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field. (Jon Perez)

Hong Kong and the Philippines were playing in the battle for third and fourth place in the Seniors League divisions last Saturday when tournament director James Ada announced that the game would no longer be continued.

Ada said the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, last Saturday afternoon, upgraded Chan-Hom to typhoon condition one.

“We apologize but we can’t predict Mother Nature. We have no choice but to call off the games,” added Ada.

As soon as Ada made the announcement, heavy rain poured, prompting everyone watching the match to run back under the bleachers or to their cars.

Hong Kong was holding on to a 12-4 lead heading into the top of the fifth inning when play was halted. Chinese-Taipei and the CNMI, in the Junior League, defeated the Philippines and Australia, respectively, in early morning matches with the weather still not that bad.

Chinese-Taipei and the CNMI were supposed to play at 9am in yesterday’s title game with the World Series slot at stake, but organizers chose to also call off the match as Saipan and Tinian were already in typhoon condition one.

Defending Senior League champion CNMI was scheduled to play Guam at 11am yesterday, while Chinese-Taipei was slated to face Guam in the Big League finals. Both games were also cancelled.

Ada said Little League headquarters in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania automatically awarded the World Series berths to the CNMI (Senior in Bangor, Maine) and Chinese Taipei (Junior in Taylor, Michigan and Big in Easley, South Carolina).

Chinese-Taipei is also the defending champion in both divisions with its Junior League squad winning the World Series last year following a 9-1 decision over US champion Southwest Texas.

“The Little League headquarters declared Chinese-Taipei and the CNMI as the winners of the tournament since they have the best record in pool play. They will again represent the Asia Pacific region in their respective World Series,” said Ada.

Ada received the email from Little League headquarters at around 12pm (Saipan time) yesterday

The cancelation of the games no longer surprised tournament organizers and the participating teams as they already expected the outcome of the tournament after weather bulletin released Thursday revealed that a storm will enter the Marianas over the weekend.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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