Blu Girls lose to Netherlands but still advance

MANILA, Philippines – The RP Blu Girls lost to the Netherlands, 2-7, in the Women's World Softball Championships in Surrey, Canada but will still advance to the championship round robin.

Back-to-back victories against Czech Republic (1-0) and Pakistan (7-0) assured the Filipinas of a seat in the next round of the 31-nation tournament.

"We have achieved our goal of advancing to the next round with some of the best teams in the world," ASAPHIL president Jean Henri Lhuillier said.

"I'm confident that our team will keep on fighting and improving, and hopefully, pull off an upset or two," he added. "This experience will go a long way towards our goal of qualifying and contending for a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

The Cebuana Lhuillier-backed Blu Girls, who are perennial champions in the Southeast Asian region, will join Australia, USA or Brazil, and China or Cuba in Group 2.

They finished as the No. 2 team in Pool F of the tournament.

Games in the championship round robin will start on Tuesday, Manila time.

In other games, New Zealand slipped past Italy, 8-7; Peru routed Kenya, 10-3; Brazil blanked Israel, 19-0; Australia overpowered Serbia, 13-0; and Mexico dominated Switzerland, 19-0.