The CNMI Senior All-Star Team hammered Indonesia, 15-0, yesterday in the 2018 Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Tournament at the Global Villages, Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, Philippines.
Kiana Aldan pitched for the CNMI and led the squad to the shutdown victory after only four innings. The win came just a day after the Doru Camacho-managed squad bowed to Guam in its opening game in the World Series qualifier.
With its even 1-1 mark, the CNMI is in a tie for third place with Hong Kong in the team standings. Guam, which downed New Zealand yesterday, 6-2, is in first place after improving to a 3-0 record, while the latter dropped to a 2-1 mark for a deadlock for second place with the Philippines. The host blanked India yesterday, 7-0, for its second win. India is at the bottom of the rankings in the seven-team field after going winless in three games, while Indonesia has also yet to win after two matches.
The CNMI will play New Zealand today for its last game in the preliminary and hopes to make it back-to-back to avoid being paired against higher-ranked foes in the playoffs. In the playoff round, the No. 1 finisher will move into the semis, while the No. 2 to 7 placers will fight for the three remaining Final Four berths. Pairings for the battles for the three semis tickers are as follows: 2 vs 7, 3 vs 5, and 4 vs 6. Playoff matches will start tomorrow, while the finals date will be announced once the semis games have been completed.
Meanwhile, the CNMI Junior League All-Stars will also gun for win No. 2 today, but will definitely need a big game to topple the heavily-favored Chinese-Taipei.
Chinese-Taipei is unscathed so far in the tournament, having won its first three games. The defending champion has also yet to give up a run in the tournament having recorded victories via routs against Hong Kong (22-0), the Philippines (10-0), and China (16-0).
The CNMI, on the other hand, came from an 11-1 triumph over China after losing its opener to the host, 2-5. The game versus Chinese-Taipei is the Commonwealth’s penultimate in the elimination round, while the latter’s last will be against Hong Kong tomorrow.
The Greg Camacho-managed Junior All-Stars must finish in the Top 4 to make it to the playoffs and only three playoff berths are left in the division, as Chinese-Taipei had already secured the first spot. The Philippines, which edged Hong Kong yesterday, 1-0, is in second place with its 2-1 record. China and Hong Kong hold similar 0-2 records.
In other results, the CNMI Major League All-Stars dropped to 0-2 after falling to host Korea, 0-16, yesterday at the Hwaseong Dream Park in Seoul. The Commonwealth bets have to more games (versus Guam today and against Indonesia tomorrow) left in the elimination and must sweep them to keep their playoffs hopes alive. Only the Top 2 teams in each pool will move into the playoff round.