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MALAYSIA rose to the occasion in their last group match against high flying Singapore, winning 14-9 in men’s softball Under-17 Asia Cup in Skudai, Johor Baru, yesterday. -- NSTP Archive

MALAYSIA rose to the occasion in their last group match against high flying Singapore, winning 14-9 in men’s softball Under-17 Asia Cup in Skudai, Johor Baru, yesterday.

It was a day of the underdogs giving the favourites a run for their money as Philippines stood their ground against Japan and forced the game to be decided over seven innings, before going down 3-10.

Meanwhile India beat Philippines 4-3 in a nailing biting finish to book their berth.

Malaysia coach Ong Siang Loon was delighted to see his team chalk up their first win in five matches.

“It was the rivalry that exists between Malaysia and Singapore in all sport encounters, that saw the players rise to the occasion,” he said.

“We did not do anything different, but the players were more relaxed as we had nothing to lose. Besides, they wanted to finish on a high note after their four losses earlier.

Singapore manager Diamond So said it was one of those games when nothing went right.

“The rivalry known between Malaysia and Singapore also saw the former raise their game.”

Malaysia drew first blood as they raced to two runs in the first innings to Singapore’s one. Singapore levelled at 2-2 in the second innings before taking the lead in the fourth inning with another three runs for a 6-4 lead.

Malaysia picked up another three runs in the next inning while Singapore had 2 for score to stand Singapore to still lead 8-6.

But Malaysia were in their element in the sixth inning when they had 6 runs against Singapore’s one to pull away 13-9 before Malaysia had another run in the final inning to triumph.

Malaysia will play Thailand (who finished fifth in the group) tomorrow in the fifth placing match.

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