CEBUANA at the mound. Mary Ann Antolihao, who hails from Compostela, Cebu, prepares to pitch at the bottom of the fourth inning. Philippines was trailing by a point at this point, which was a complete opposite from their elimination games against Chinese-Taipei when the Filipina batters were blanked by the world no.3 team. (Courtesy from ASAPHIL Facebook page)
MANILA, Philippines – The RP Blu Girls fell short of a podium finish, but Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) President Jean Henri Lhuillier was all praises for the Cebuana Lhuillier-backed National Women’s Softball Team, for clinching a World Cup slot after finishing 4th place in World Softball Championship 2023 Asia Cup in Incheon, Korea.
The Chinese-Taipei squad claimed the bronze medal but not without scare as the Filipina batters were aggressive early before succumbing to the superior ranked opponents down the stretch for a 10-5 decision, at the Songdo LNG Stadium on Saturday morning, April 8.
The RP Blu Girls were leading 5-3 after two innings and pushed Chinese-Taipei to give their best as the Filipina squad fought until the final 7th inning.
“I’m so proud with how our girls competed each game, they went toe to toe with the best of Asia and they showed they deserve that World Cup slot,” said a proud ASAPHIL President Jean-Henri Lhuillier.
AMATEUR Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) president Jean-Henri Lhuillier was beaming after seeing that the RP Blu Girls will advance to the World Cup after tabbing the extra slot given to the World Softball Championship Asia Cup 2023. (Contributed Photo)
“We will now focus on preparing them for the World Cup and we will ensure that they get the proper training and exposure for that world class competition in July,” added Lhuillier.
The Blu Girls finished the group preliminary rounds with 5-3 win-loss record.
“This competition showed that our team can compete with the best of them, especially this bronze medal match against World number 3 Chinese-Taipei. We were up by 2 after 2 innings. We just need to continue improving each day at training.” said RP Blu Girls Coach Randy Dizer
The RP Blu Girls will play in Italy against the host nation Italy, Canada, New Zealand, and Venezuela in the World Cup in July 22-26 at the Castrion di Strada & Buttrio. Two other venues of the Women’s Softball World Cup were in Fingal-Dublin in Ireland from July 11-15, and in Valencia, Spain on July 18 to 22.
The Asia Cup was eventually won by Japan, who is ranked no.2 in world, after beating China 6-0 in the gold medal game.
The other teams seeing action in the nine-team Asia Cup includes South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India.
The Blu Girls have reached the World Cup seven times in the past and won their lone bronze medal in 1970. – Marlon Bernardino