April 15, 2018
The sky was blue and the sun was emitting its fiercest rays as mango-colored men battled against contenders of diverse colors and strengths.
They pitched; they ran. Sometimes, they were caught. Most of the times, however, they rejoiced for those victories that they once dreamed of. Now that it has turned into reality, they shined as bright as their mango-colored shirts that carried their names: Zambaleños.
Having been challenged by their heartbreaking bronze finish from 2017 Central Luzon Regional Athletics Association (CLRAA) Meet, the Zambales Baseball Team pulled out all the stops to have the wildest comeback this year with stunning tricks that totally clobbered their opponents’ conditioning tactics.
With the forceful pitches that they exhibited in front of the growling spectators whose mindset was either to support or to distract, these young men finally prevailed, crowning themselves as Central Luzon’s kings of the baseball field.
“Alam ko, pinaghandaan nila iyong number one right-handed pitcher namin,” James Robison, the team’s coach, shared.
“Nagulat siguro sila nung semis at finals na kaliwa iyong pitcher namin,” Robison added, referring to his team’s strategy to astonish their opponents.
Dreaming to record a “come-from-behind win” and to avenge their loss against Nueva Ecija in 2017, the team underwent crucial trainings and played hardball right after their Zambales Provincial Meet. It was quite hard due to the players’ differences in schedules, insufficient sports equipment, and lack of practice venues, but each still managed to give their best by sacrificing their time and effort, be it weekdays or weekends. The focus was to win carrying not only their individual names, but also their province.
“Iyong hitting namin at good communication ang nagpanalo sa amin,” the coach further relayed. They might have been caught sometimes, but their teamwork remained – no blaming, only a tap on the shoulder and a hug, be it for a score or an unintentional error.
The Zambales Baseball Team clearly hit the homerun and crushed their opponents’ dreams of reaching the pinnacle of all the sports meets. They even threw a curve ball against Nueva Ecija and frustrated their reign in Region III’s baseball standing.
The sun’s fiercest rays finally faded, and rain suddenly poured, as if blessing these warriors and preparing them for the most awaited moment of the tournament when the announcer said, “The Champion… mula sa tahanan ng mga Zambal… ZAMBALES!”
It was their motto – “Pray, play smart, and play with all your heart” – which earned them such a pitch-perfect win.
Ginalyn F. Edpalin
Pamibian Integrated School
Schools Division of Zambales