24/07/2024

Blu Girls begin World Cup campaign vs Canada on Saturday

Hace un año

Blu Girls begin World Cup campaign vs Canada on Saturday

AS the Philippines battles the world's best teams at the Women's Football World Cup in New Zealand, its counterpart in women's softball will also open its campaign in the Women Softball World Cup in Italy late Saturday, July 22.

AS the Philippines battles the world's best teams at the Women's Football World Cup in New Zealand, its counterpart in women's softball will also open its campaign in the Women Softball World Cup in Italy late Saturday, July 22.

AS the Philippines battles the world's best teams at the Women's Football World Cup in New Zealand, its counterpart in women's softball will also open its campaign in the Women Softball World Cup in Italy late Saturday, July 22.

The Philippine Blu Girls will open its bid against powerhouse Canada at 11:30 p.m. (Manila time).

The Philippine Blu Girls prepare themselves for the Women's Softball World Cup starting with their opening game against Canada on Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Italy. ASAPHIL PHOTO
The Philippine Blu Girls prepare themselves for the Women's Softball World Cup starting with their opening game against Canada on Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Italy. ASAPHIL PHOTO

The Cebuana Lhuillier-backed team spent the last month training abroad and has formulated new strategies to give their opponents a run for their money.

"We were able to provide all the necessary support and enlist the help of the best coaches in the country so our Blu Girls can conquer the odds and make a strong finish at the World Cup," Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier said.

Lhuillier said the Blu Girls engaged in a friendly match the national team of Czech Republic on Monday, July 17, and prevailed 5-4.

Eighteen teams, divided into three groups, have qualified for the World Cup.

The Philippines, ranked 26th in the world, is bracketed in group C along with No. 2 Japan, No. 5 Canada, No. 8 Italy, No. 22 Venezuela, and No. 29 New Zealand.

Hostilities in Group A has already concluded in Balbriggan, Ireland with defending champion United States beating Great Britain, 7-0, in the finals and Australia outplaying the same Great Britain team in the repechage, 4-1.

Group B action, meanwhile, is ongoing in Valencia, Spain with China and Cuba leading the six-team bracket.

The top eight teams from the group stage will advance in the World Cup Finals to be held also in Buttrio, Italy.

This is the seventh time that the Blu Girls are competing in the World Cup since 1970 when they recorded their best finish at third place.

The Philippine team is composed of Glory Alonzo, Francesca Altomonte, Mary Ann Antolihao, Danica Aquino, Khrisha Genuary Cantor, Elise de la Torre, Skylynne Ellazar, Ma. Angelu Gabriel, Nicole Adra Hammoude, Mary Joy Maguad, Ma. Celyn Ojare, Royevel Palma, Cristy Joy Roa, Ma. Charlotte Narces Sales, Alaiza Talisik, and Reyae Mae Villamin.

The Blu Girls are coached by Ana Santiago who is assisted by Venerando Dizer and Anthony Santos. The pitching coach is Raymundo Pagkaliwagan and the head of delegation is team manager Dino Bernardo Lee.

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