Blu Girls start Tokyo Olympics quest at Jakarta Women’s Softball Asia Cup

Date Published: May 1, 2019

THE Blu Girls’ quest to represent the Philippines in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is now in full swing as the national women’s team sees action in the Women’s Softball Asia Cup in Jakarta beginning on Wednesday.

The Blu Girls will go head-to-head against the best teams in Asia—including reigning champion Japan, Taiwan and China—in the action-packed four-day competition.

The top six teams will head to the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifier in September while the top three will advance to the qualifiers for the 2021World Softball Championships.

Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President and Softball Asia Vice President Jean Henri Lhuillier said the Blu Girls have what it takes to make the Olympics,

“The Blu Girls have shown in the past that they have what it takes to beat the top teams in the world through their unique mix of talent, determination and grit in the field,” Lhuillier said. “We were able to defeat top four teams in the world—Australia and Canada, Mexico and Asian powerhouses China and Chinese-Taipei.”

“I strongly believe that they are due for a podium finish in Jakarta. The Blu Girls are our best chances for the Olympics, and I am committing my 100-percent support to them to make this happen,” Lhuillier added.

Leading the team is Coach Randy Dizer, who has been at the helm of many game-winning plays since the girls’ resurgence in the international stage. Supporting Dizer is assistant Coach Ana Santiago, as well as team captain Cheska Altomonte.

The team is composed of Angelie Ursabia, Arriane Vallestero, Mary Ann Antolihao, Lyca Basa, Ezra Jalandoni, Royevel Palma, Shaira Damasing, Cristy Joy Toa, Reizel Calumbres and Fil-Am recruits Garie Blando, Chelsea Suitos, Sky Ellazar, Hailey Decker, Amber Freeman and Gabriella Elvina.

The team faces Singapore at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, before closing Day 1 with a game against Hong Kong at 2 p.m. The Blu Girls meet Chinese-Taipei at 3 p.m. on Friday.