For the third time in as many years, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles joined the Hong Kong International Baseball Open for their prep for the UAAP Season.
Despite a three-run second inning by Sydney University, the defending, two-time champions of this tourney remained unperturbed, taking a 9-3 abbreviated 6th inning win, Friday morning at the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground and Lion Park Baseball Field.
Down 1-3 entering the third inning, the returning Gino Tantuico connected on a single to slice the lead down to a solitary run. A 2-RBI single by graduating catcher Dino Altomonte put the Blue Eagles up for good.
Graduating ace pitcher Paulo Macasaet racked up his first win of the tourney, allowing just two hits and three runs in the four innings he pitched. The former UAAP Best Pitcher struck out four as well.
Ateneo continued the barrage, scoring three more runs in the fifth inning for the mercy rule victory.
Altomonte and Javi Macasaet had two hits to power Ateneo’s 12-hit game.
The Blue Eagles are looking to bounce back after a third-place finish in the UAAP Season 80 Baseball tournament.
Ateneo will next face hosts Hong Kong-Blue in the club division of the tourney on Saturday, December 15, at 12:30pm.