Wednesday, December 6, 2017
MANILA – Philippine Blu Girls bagged silver medals for a historic feat in the 11th Asian Softball Championships in Taichung City, Taiwan.
The second place finish – the Philippines’ highest in 45 years – gave the Filipino delegation a ticket to the 2018 World Championship in Chiba, Japan and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Their magical run in the weeklong tournament was halted on Monday when the Filipina players suffered a flattening 0-7 defeat at the hands of world No. 1 Japan in the championship match.
Seven players from Western Visayas were in the team: Celestine Palma and Lorna Adorable from Iloilo, and Queeny Sabobo, Florabele Pabiania, Lorna Adorable, Annalie Benjamen, and Riflayca Basa from Negros Occidental.
Also in the team were Dione Macasu, Arianne Vallestero, Mia Macapagal, Shaira Damasing, Lovely Arago, Cristy Roa, Mary Ann Antolihao, Riezel Calumbres, Angelie Ursabia, Chelsea Suitos, Gabrielle Rodas, Jaqueline Pascual;
Kayla Joyce, Skylynne Ellazar, Kailey Hill, Alyssa Pinto, Kailee Cuico, Reese Guevarra, Hailey Decker, Gabrielle Maurice, Garie Blando, Dani Gilmore, Taryn Atlee, Chaela Galapo, and Abigail Millete.
“I’m so elated with Blu Girls’ performance,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president of the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines. “I’m so excited about this team, and I think they have a legitimate chance of becoming one of only six (softball) teams in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
On its way to the gold medal game, Blu Girls scored back-to-back upsets against world No. 6 China 4-3 in extra inning and world No. 9 Chinese Taipei 5-3.
In the group elimination, the Philippines first suffered a 0-8 loss to Japan before hacking out four straight victories at the expense of Hong Kong (18-0), Pakistan (7-0), South Korea (6-4), and Thailand (5-0)./PN