TAICHUNG, Taiwan – Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) West defeated NPB East, 6-1, in the championship game of the Asia Winter Baseball League (AWB) at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium.

NPB West starting pitcher Shota Suzuki (Chunichi Dragons) pitched five shut-out innings to earn the win.

With NPB West winning the 2016 title, it marks the third time in the last four seasons that an NPB representative has won the AWB crown.

NPB West’s Masataka Yoshida (ORIX Buffaloes) was named “Best Hitter”.

In the battle for 3rd Place, the 2015 AWB champ, Chinese Taipei National Training Team, edged the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), 7-6, after a back-and-forth game that saw a total of 19 hits.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) pounded Europe, 13-0, in the 5th/6th Place game.

With interest growing in the league, CPBL, the organiser of the 6-team AWB, has stated there is a possibility to expand the WBSC-sanctioned international league in 2017, with U.S. and Japan-based teams expressing interest to compete in the AWB.