The Philippine Blu Girls set out for the Asian Softball Championship slated Nov. 28-Dec. 4 in Taiwan, brimming with confidence following a pair of solid outings in the World Cup of Softball XII and the Canada Cup International Softball Championship.
“We have beaten Asia’s No. 3 Chinese Taipei in the recent World Cup so I’m confident we could finish in the top three in Taiwan,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) president Jean Henri Lhuillier. “The girls are training hard for this and I’ve always believed that we have what it takes to excel globally in softball.”
The long-time sports patron added that the Asian tilt will help gauge the team’s readiness to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The PH Blu Girls made quite an impression in the World Cup and Canada Cup by upsetting world No. 3 Canada twice in front of the home crowd. They also stunned world No. 4 Australia and toppled ninth-ranked Chinese-Taipei then defeated No. 10 Mexico twice.
The Blu Girls, beefed up by Filipinos based abroad and vastly-improved homegrown players, will be using the Asian Championships as part of their preparations towards the goal of making it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The upcoming Taiwan meet serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Asian Games and World Championships.
The Phl Blu Girls are targeting to play in three Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2018 and 2019, namely the World Championships, Asia-Oceania tournament, and the World Open tournament.
Meanwhile, Lhuillier also bared activities being implemented in the grassroots level to make ASAPHIL a world-class softball association.
“We have conducted several coaching seminars, distributed International Softball Federation rule books, and produced softball 101 videos. We will also organize Batang Pinoy tournaments in Visayas and Mindanao by yearend. All these will help popularize the sport and discover fresh talents every year. We are eyeing beyond the 2020 Olympics. We want our softball team to be in every Olympics from here on,” added Lhuillier.