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The Philippines faces challenging ascent in super round podium race

Great odds await the Philippines in its bid to secure a podium finish in the Asian Baseball Championship with a pair of perennial powerhouse foes on deck in the super round of the continental tournament being held in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Filipino batters begin the next phase of the competition on Friday with a match against South Korea before taking on host Chinese Taipei the following day at Taipei Dome, hoping to produce one upset win regardless of how slim their chances are.

Results against teams that made the super round are carried over, with Japan and Chinese Taipei posting 1-0 records while the Philippines and South Korea have identical 0-1 slates. The top two teams advance to the final while the bottom two face off for third place.

Veteran lefty Vladimir Eguia pitched five scoreless innings while Clarence Caasalan drove in four runs in defeating Thailand.

Other teams that took part in the competition were Palestine and Hong Kong from Group A. China, usually among the top four teams in the Asian region, did not join the event.