The Philippine Blu Girls, under the tutelage of national coach Randy Dizer are all set for action in the 11th Asian Women’s Softball Championship that will be held from November 28 to December 5 in Taichung City, Taiwan.
The Blu Girls, led by Filipino-Americans Reese Guevarra, Kailee Cuico and Kayla Joyce, will test their mettle against team from 12 countries that include powerhouse Japan, China, Korea and host Taiwan.
“We’re very excited to play and show the talent that we have. Of course it is possible [to win the gold]because we’re setting the bar higher everyday in practice,” Guevarra, an 18 year-old outfielder who grew up in New York, told The Manila Times during the team’s send-off news conference at the NCVI building in Jupiter St. in Makati City on Thursday.
“We will definitely make our presence felt out there and give our best. We are definitely on the rise and we are growing. We are going to bring that team mentality and we are going to do something great in Taiwan,” said the 23-year-old outfielder Joyce in a separate interview.
The top five teams will qualify for the Asian Games in Indonesia next year and the top three will enter the World Championship also next year.
Cuico, 25, commends the willingness of local players to learn from them. “The locals here are very responsive and we are very happy to teach them. We come here also to train.”
Cuico is from California and is now coaching in the Oregon University.
Besides the three, the other members of the Philippine team are Francesca Altomonte, Queeny Sabobo, Arianne Vallestero, Celestine Palm, Mia Macapagal, Lorna Adorable, Cristy Joy Roa, Dione Macasu, Shaira Damasing, Riezl Calumbres, Lovely Arago, Mary Ann Antolihao, Annalie Benjamen, Angelie Ursabia, Florabelle Pabiana, Sierra Lange, Riflayca Basa, Chelsea Suitos, Gabrielle Rodas, Jaqueline Pascual, Skylynne Salazar, Kailey Hill, Alyssa Pinto, Hailey Cassandra Decker, Gabrielle Maurice, Garie Blando, Dani Gilmore, Taryn Dior Atlee, Chaella Galapon and Abigael Millete.
The Blu Girls are also setting their sights on the 2020 Olympics. To prepare for that grand event, they will compete in the 2018 World Championships, 2019 Asia-Oceania tournament and the World Open tournament.
The Blu Girls, who trained everyday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, left the country for Taiwan on Friday.
“I’m confident we’ll be battling it out for the top honors considering their excellent showing in their recent tournaments. We have already beaten World No. 3 Canada twice, World No. 4 Australia, and Asian No. 3 Taiwan a few months ago,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuiller.