Phil. Women's Softball Team to train in the U.S. | February 10, 2014

The Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines is set to retrace the formula that made the Philippine Blu Girls the third best women’s softball team in the 70s.

AsaPhil secretary general Danny Francisco last Thursday announced during the SCOOP Sa Kamayan On Air that the Blu Girls, who recently had reaffirmed their fourth place standing in the Asian Women’s championship held in Taipei will be sent to the United States for a three-month training stint in preparations for the coming 17th Asia Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Francisco, who appeared as guest in the weekly sports program aired over DZAR 1026 KHZ on the AM band along with AsaPhil operations manager Jun Veloso and national coach Ana Santiago, revealed that AsaPhil president Jean Henri Lhuillier will be providing the fund for the ambitious project with the help of the Philippine Sports Commission and hopefully, the private sector.

“Yes, for the first time since the Philippine Blu Girls ended up third in the World Championship in 1970 and fourth in 1974 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, we will be bringing the soon-to-be formed national women’s team to the ISF (International Softball Federation) headquarters itself in Oklahoma to provide our girls with the latest techniques of the game,” Francisco, once a promising basketball star, said in the program, sponsored by the Triple V chain of restaurants.

“For years kasi, we’ve been relying on our players’, in both in the men’s and women’s players national talents,” Francisco told his interviewers during the every-Thursday session also viewed live via streaming at “AsaPhil thought it that it’s about time we give them the latest in scientific way of training, just like the Blu Girls and Blu Boys circa 70s received.”

“Eh yung nakuha ng Blu Boys and Blu Girls noong panahong yun na nai-transfer sa mga sumunod sa kanila, medyo passe na. So our players need to learn the latest techniques already,’ he, Veloso and Santiago explained.

“Ang techniques na ginagamit natin ngayon puede na lang sa Southeast Asian Games, pero pagdating sa Asian and world levels, hindi na puede,” Santiago, author of the Philippines’ dominance of women’s softball in the SEA Games lately, for his part, said.

The scheme, the trio, asserted, is for the purpose of improving on the Blu Girls’ fourth place finishes fashioned out in the last four staging of the Asian Championship.

“Our purpose is to at least finish third in the Asian Games this September 19 to October 4.” Veloso clarified. “By ending up third, chances are that we will be ranked at least in the top 10 in the world ranking. Ang problem, kasi natin is yung top three sa Asia – China, Japan and Chinese Taipei – are in the top five ranking in the world.”

Young players making up the SEA Games champion Blu Girls will form the 15-player national training pool that will be sent to Oklahoma .

Besides training, hopefully with the U.S., national squad, the Blu Girls will also be playing games with local teams in Oklahoma and adjacent cities, Francisco said.

Francisco said the U.S. stint of the Blu Girls is one in the busy AsaPhil program of activities for the year, including the just-concluded Batang Pinoy National Games, National PRISAA, Palarong Pambansa, Summer Grandslam men’s and women’s championships, Men’s and Women’s East Asia Cup, Women’s Canada Cup, Cebuana Lhuillier Women’s Intxer-Collegiate and the National Inter-Secondary.

The Philippines has been offered to host the 2014 Asian men’s Championship, but Francisco said the AsaPhil board has yet to decide whether to accept or not offer made by the Amateur Softball Association of Asia.