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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

Phil. Women’s Softball Team face tough side in ASIAD

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
31 Oct 2010



The Philippine Blu Girls are ranged against four of the world’s top-rated softbelles in the world in their quest for at least a bronze medal in the coming 16th Asian Games women’s softball championship set next month in Guangzhou, China.
The first acid test in the Blu Girls’ chances of realizing their target first ever medal in an Asian level play actually comes in the opening day of the tournament Nov. 19 when they meet host China in one of the three-game bill in the Asian Games Town’s softball grounds.
“Mabigat agad ang laban kasi hosts agad ang makakaharap ng mga bata,” Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines operations manager Jun Veloso said during Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan Restauant-Padre Faura.
“We’ve learned from several scouts that saw how the Chinese have been preparing that the hosts have formed their team as early as three years ago and that it is possible that they will send the same team that saw action in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,” Veloso told his audience during the forum, sponsored by TV-5, Mang Inasal, FILA and Smart Sports.
The Girls though, according to Veloso, who appeared in the session along with Blu Girls Sarah Agravante and Alex Zuluaga, are ready for battle and have been practicing against men’s teams almost weekly since the team was formed in time for last July’s ASEAN championship held in Jakarta to maike up for lack of international exposure.
Other Blu Girls assignments are Chinese Taipei on Nov. 20, Thailand on Nov. 21, Japan on Nov. 22 and Korea on Nov. 23.
The Blu Girls, who retained the Asean crown with aplomb by sweeping the four-team, two-round field and yielding only one run in the process, is made up eight veterans of the fourth place team in the last Asian championship three years ago.
Veloso clarified though that although nine of the team’s members are first time Blu Girls, all have earned their seats on the strength of their experience playing for the different girls softball World Series in the Little League (11-12), Junior League (13-14), Senior League 14-16 and Big League (16-18) divisions the past decade.
The Blu Girls roster is led by catcher Lovelyn Maganda who swept the MVP, best hitter and best sluger honors in the Asean championship. The team has six pitchers, including four Asian championship holdovers Syrel Ramos, Joy Lasquite, Cora Sobere and Dione Macasu and neophytes Julie Marie Muyco and Veronica Belleza.

Sobere is the most senior among the veterans having earned her place in the national teams for the last nine years. Other old-timers in coach Ana Santiago’s lineup are Esmeralda Tayag,Sherylou Valenzuela, Sarah Jane Agravante and Maganda.
Playing for the first time as Blu Girls are Louise Zuluaga, Elma Parohinog, Marlyn Francisco, Kristine Marie Drilon, Joan Pioquinto, Francisca Altomonte and Anavic Jugos. All have, at one time or another have been members of Team Manila in the Big League World Series.


The Philippines ended up fourth in the last Asian championship behind eventual winner Japan, Chinese Taipei and China and a notch ahead of South Korea and, according to Francisco, will be eyeing at least a third place finish.
The Japanese, incidentally are the Beijing Olympics champions while the Taiwanese winding up with the bronze medal behind silver medalist United States.


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