ASAPHIL President Jean-Henri Lhuillier (middle in white polo) gave a fitting send-off party to the Women’s Softball Asia Cup bound-RP Blu Girls. (Contributed Photo)
MANILA, Philippines – Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) President Jean-Henri Lhuillier gave a fitting send-off to a well-prepared and battle-ready RP Blu Girls, the country’s national women’s softball team, who left for Korea recently to finalize preparations for the upcoming Women’s Softball Asia Cup to be held on April 2-8, 2023.
“I am proud of how hard you’ve been working in training and I’m confident you’ll be able to translate it to a podium finish in the tournament. Trust your coaches and teammates and be mentally and psychologically ready. Anything can happen, especially once you reach the semi-finals, go for the gold,” Lhuillier told the Blu Girls.
The All-Filipina squad, the first since 2014, has been training hard for months and has the luxury of practicing with their Men’s counterpart – the RP Blu Boys.
They are eyeing a minimum 3rd place finish to earn one of the three coveted World Cup slots, and Coach Randy Dizer is confident his wards can pull it off.
“The tournament will feature the best teams in the Asia Cup, but our girls are hungry and eager to prove that they can compete with the best. The goal is really to make it to the World Cup, and we’ve been training every day for the last months for that,” said Coach Dizer.
The Blu Girls will compete with perennial powerhouse Japan, and other contenders such as Chinese Taipei, China, host Korea, vastly improved Singapore, Thailand, Hongkong, and India.
Should the team qualifies for the World Cup, they will be competing in the XVII WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup to be played in Ireland, Spain, and Italy in July. Under the two-Stage format, an expanded number of 18 teams representing five Olympic continents will play across three groups of six teams. The top two teams from each group of the Group Stage, plus two wild cards will advance to the eight-team World Cup Finals to be hosted by Italy in 2024. – Marlon Bernardino
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