MABALACAT, Pampanga -- The RP Blu Boys got a much-needed bounce back win against Indonesia, 9-0, to advance to the gold medal match of the 30th Southeast Asian Games baseball competition Saturday morning.
The Philippines, the top overall seed after the round robin, failed to get an outright berth to the Finals after being upset by Singapore, 4-3, Friday.
Singapore, meanwhile, awaits the Philippines for all the marbles at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Fueled by their defeat, the Blu Boys immediately got to work by scoring three in the top of the first inning.
With the batters clicking, the Philippines scored five more runs in the top of the fifth and final inning, which led to the mercy rule being triggered.
"I believe our chances of a gold medal are strong, because we were ahead in hits, but many players were left on base, and some didn't click," player-coach Apol Rosales said.
Color was added to what was a lopsided affair when Indonesian shortstop Dikdik Dermawan was ejected for cursing the umpire.
Dermawan, who coincidentally is close friends with the older Rosales went to the bullpen after the heated exchange with the official and threw his glove on the field.
"The umpire threw the ball at [Dermawan's] back, which escalated things," explained Rosales. They had already exchanged words earlier, which led to the umpire throwing the ball," he added.
The Indonesians then cleared the bench and stormed the field before cooler heads prevailed. By virtue of the Page playoff system, they will be awarded the bronze medal.
Sunday will be a very interesting day at The Villages inside the Clark Freeport Zone where the Blu Boys, the RP Blu Girls, and the men's baseball squads will vie for gold medals.
The trio, which were favored before the start of the tournament will try to accomplish its goal with the Blu Girls kicking the tripleheader off against Indonesia at 9 a.m., while the baseball team will face the winner of the Indonesia/Cambodia game at 1 p.m., which is still on-going as of posting time.