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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

Manila ‘Golden Girls’ eyeing World Series crown

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
18 May 2010

Bringing home the Big League World Series championship will be Team Manila’s target when the Golden Girls plunge into action in the Asia Pacific elimination for girls softball 16-18 division this coming July in Bandung, Indonesia.

Winner of their division in the recent Philippine Little League Series held in Daet, Camarines Sur, the Manila Golden Girls will be trying to recapture the Asia Pacific title in the hope of carrying anew the country’s colors in the World Series and win the world crown denied them two years ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The Golden Girls, powered by Smokey Mountain-born hurler Jenny Pangilinan and veterans of World Series wars in the lighter categories – Major League (11-12), Junior League, 13-14,Senior League, 14-16 – could only end up with the silver medal in 2008 although they prided themselves in earning the honors of becoming the first Asian and non-Americans to finish that high since the Big League division was introduced in 2001.
“Our focus this year will be on winning the World Series no less,” Engineer Robert Evangelista of the Manila City Engineers Office and chair of the Manila Little League Charter, vowed in a recent interview.
“We won the runner-up honors the last time we played and that only means we Filipinos are capable of winning, too, the world championship,” Evangelista, who will be heading the national delegation going to Bandung, said.
After losing the Philippine Series title to Rizal and the right to represent the country in the Asia Pacific elimination, Evangelista and Charter president Filomeno “Boy” Codinera left no stone unturned in their efforts to form a strong team to realize their dream of gifting the country a World Series crown.
And the indefatigable duo, who have been working together since year 2000 when the Manila Litle League Charter was organized, chorused that they, indeed were able to form a team that is strongly capable of bringing home the bacon
Only two remained of the 2008 lineup – pitcher Erica Escanuela and outfielder Yrla Rojo -- but Evangelista and Codinera along with coaches Ana Santiago and Randy Dizer expressed belief that the replacements they recruited are as talented as those they replaced.
Escanuela heads a six-man pitching rotation tht includes Liza Marie Muyco, Riza Bernardino, Melanie Macatangay, Bada Lao and Veronica Belleza.
All of the Golden Girls, except one, had, at one time or another played in the lower age divisions – Elvie Enterina, Nerissa Benjamin, Carol Banay, Ivee Cojuangco, Bada lao, Isabelle Gomez, Marisse Garde and Marlyn Francisco.Ana Cariza Paghubasan is the only first-timer.
Aside from its talent-rich roster, the team, according to Cordinera is one where scions of the richest are joined by the Manila’s poorest from the slum of Tondo and the Smokey Mountain.
Cojuangco, for instance, a grandchild of business and political giants, former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, chair of San Miguel Corp., and Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, is playing with Rojo, who was born and raised in the world famous former garbage dumpsite at Smokey Mountain.

Lao, daughter of Nikki Lao, Nike distributor in the country, and Isabelle Gomez, sibling of International Little League district administrator in the Philippines Jolly Gomez, have been eating in the same table and the same food with Muyco, Enterina and Benjamin, to mention a few, who belong to family of farm hands in the far away Negros Occidental, from the time they played together in Daet and in training in preparation for the Bandung meet.


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