Members of the Philippine Blu Girls would like to get as much exposure as they can, including a possible training camp overseas, to make sure that they’ll come into the Women’s Softball World Cup as a legitimate competitor and not as a mother participant.
“We’re happy to be back in the World Cup. But our coaches know that we need more foreign exposure,” pitcher Mary Ann Antolihao said in Filipino when she along with CJ Roa and Celine Ojare appeared in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.
While the Blu Girls are savoring their return stint to the World Cup thanks to a fourth place finish in the recent Women Softball Asia Cup in Incheon, South Korea, they’re also looking at trying to hurdle the stiff opposition they’ll face in Group B.
The Blu Girls are joined by Asia Cup winner Japan, Canada, Venezuela, New Zealand and group host Italy, teams ranked way higher than the Filipino batters.
Roa echoed Antolihao’s sentiments and suggested that a camp in Japan may bode well for the Blu Girls.“The training in Japan is at a very high level, and it would be a great opportunity for us to have tuneup games, even against university teams, ” Roa said, also in Filipino.
The Philippines, under the tutelage of coach Randy Dizer, went 5-3 to place fourth in the preliminary round and clinch a spot in the World Cup for the third time in the last four editions.
But all of the Philippines’ three defeats came at the expense of higher-ranked teams Japan, runner-up China and Chinese Taipei, which defeated the Blu Girls twice including the bronze medal game.
“Skills-wise, I believe we are capable of being competitive,” Roa said. “It’s just that we’re really lacking in terms of exposure.” INQ
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