Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Blu Girls fail in Olympic seat bid

It was only good while it lasted.

The Philippines came two games away from earning its place in next year?s Tokyo Olympic Games but lost to Australia, 7-0 on Friday as the Blu Girls bade goodbye to their aspiration in the Super Round of the Asia-Oceania qualifier in Shanghai.

Had the gritty Filipinas won, and prevail, too, over Chinese Taipei in their last assignment Saturday, coach Randy Dizer?s Girls could?ve earned their tickets to Tokyo and represent, along with Japan, Asia-Oceania in the XXXIII Games in that Japanese capital.

The Japanese earned the No. 1 seed as hosts of the Summer Spectacle.

But as things had it, ending up at the highest, third and the lowest fourth, is what, perhaps the farthest they were destined to get.

The Blu Girls fought tough and hard and were holding their own against the No. 7 world ranked counterparts from Down Under in the first three innings when the fastball pitching Ann Antolihao practically had the opposition at the palm of her hands allowing just one runner on on a single who he left stranded anyway.

The roof finally cave in at the bottom of the fourth frame where the product of the University of Santo Tomas surrendered three hits, a lead-off double followed by a pair of base hits as the Aussies broke the ice with two runs.

Reports coming from the World Baseball-Softball Confederation didn?t mention what the Philippine coaching staff did to quell the uprising.

Obviously, Antolihao remained holding the fort.

She hit a batter by a pitched ball, who reached home on another single, followed by a pair more and Australia soared high, 5-0.

The gold and green dressed Aussies added two more runs assisted by a maze of errors in the sixth and went back to the Athletes? Village having a chance of bringing home the bacon and instead of the Filipinas, join the Japanese in Tokyo.

For the Philippines, well, it can console itself of improving its world ranking from the present 13th to probably the top 1O.

If they salvage the bronze medal, chances are they?ll be rewarded, too, of a trip to Birmingham two years from now and carry the country?s colors in the World Games.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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