PH Blu Girls move on from sorry World Championship stint

Beatrice Go
PH Blu Girls move on from sorry World Championship stint
The Philippine women's softball team aims for a historic podium finish at the Asian Games

MANILA, Philippines – The Phiilippine Blu Girls ended their Women’s Softball World Championships campaign in Chib, Japan, at 13th place but are picking themselves back up immediately as they will be heading to Jakarta soon for the 2018 Asian Games

Ranked No. 15 in the world, Philippines earned two wins but suffered 5 losses –including a 0-12 drubbing by Olympics-bound team USA – preventing the team from getting past the group stage. 

We [kind of] struggled in this tournament, we didn’t do as well as we hoped but we know that moving forward, it’s also one preparation for the Asian Games and two, kaya eh (We can do it),” said team captain Cheska Altomonte via phone patch with Rappler. 

The new-look squad is still working on its team chemistry as this is its first competition in 2018. However, the Blu Girls are more confident to regroup for the Asian Games. 

I think we just need to work a little bit on playing as a complete team, obviously, with there being a mix of locals and Fil-Ams, we don’t get a lot of time together so I think we’re using this tournament to kind of see where we need to grow together and then practice and apply that, working towards the Asian Games,” said first baseman Hailey Decker. 

The Blu Girls are donning a different lineup this 2018 as they are missing key cogs Dani Gilmore and Kailee Cuico who were vital to their 2017 Asian Championships silver medal finish

To add to their lack of team chemistry, the women’s softball team did not push through with its original plan to join the 2018 Canada Cup and International Cup early this year, making the world championships the first time the new team played together. 

As the whole team decided to train in the Philippines last July, its training was affected by the monsoon rains that have hit the country in the last two months. 

However, the team was still able to produce notable wins in the world stage as they dominated South Africa 10-0 and slipped away with a 5-4 win over Europe’s No. 1 team, the Netherlands. 

“That (Netherlands game) was a good win,” recalled Altomonte. “But then the ball is round, anything can happen, like all these teams, they’re all higher ranked than us but we know that we can still compete.” 

The Blu Girls also faced Asian rivals Chinese-Taipei in the world championships but lost 7-9. Philippines was already able to register wins against the world No. 3 team in the Canada Cup and Asian Championships in 2017. Now, the nationals look to get back at Asia’s best team on Wednesday, August 22 in the Asian Games. 

“It’s kind of like we win one, we lose one, to Chinese-Taipei but we know that we can beat them when we see them again in the Asian Games,” said Altomonte. 

I think [the world championships] was one of their (Chinese-Taipei) best games and I think we played one of our worst, so the fact that they came at us with all cylinders, and that we weren’t as hot as we usually are kind of gives the team hope,” added Decker. 

The Philippine national softball team will begin its Asiad campaign against Hong Kong, 8 pm on Sunday, August 19 at the GBK Softball Field. – Rappler.com

 

 

 

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.