BUOYED by the encouraging performance of RP Blu Girls in this year’s World Cup and Canada Cup, Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President and Philippine sports patron Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed confidence on the te aam’s chances in the coming Asian Softball Championships to be held in Taiwan on Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.
“This tournament will enable us to gauge once again the team’s readiness to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We have beaten Asia’s no. 3 Chinese Taipei in the recent World Cup so I’m confident we’ll do well in these competitions. The girls are really training hard for this so I’m very confident we could at the very least finish in the Top 3. I’ve always believed that we have what it takes to excel globally in the sport of softball, said Lhuillier.”
The PH Blu Girls created a stir in the World Cup and Canada Cup held early this year by stunning world no. 3 Canada, no. 4 Australia, no. 9 Chinese Taipei and twice defeating 10th-ranked Mexico.
The team, beefed up by Filipinos based abroad, and with improved play by the homegrown players, will be using the Asian Championships as part of their preparations towards the goal of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The coming Asian Championships serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Asian Games and World Championships.
The PH Blu Girls are targeting to play in 3 Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2018 and 2019, namely the World Championships, Asia-Oceania tournament and the World Open tournament.
Meanwhile, Lhuillier also bared the grassroots activities being implemented by ASAPHIL as part of the organization’s thrust of making it a world-class softball association.
“We have conducted several coaching seminars, distributed International Softball Federation rule books, produced softball 101 videos and we will be organizing Batang Pinoy tournaments in Visayas and Mindanao by end of the year. All of these efforts are to help popularize the sport in the country and discover fresh talents every year. We are eyeing beyond the 2020 Olympics. We want our softball team to be in every Olympics from here on,” added Lhuillier.