Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier is upbeat about the chances of the Cebuana Lhuillier backed-national men’s and women’s softball team in snagging the gold medal in the coming Southeast Asian Games, hosted by the Philippines this November.
As preparation for the games, Lhuillier organized a tune-up tournament titled the 2019 Cebuana Lhuillier Men’s Softball Cup Tournament, where the PH Blu Boys are playing against the country’s best softball teams at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The awarding ceremonies will be held on Sunday.
“I’m very confident of our Blu Boys’ chances in the SEA Games but we don’t want to be overconfident, thus the need for pre-game tournaments. Our Blu Girls, on the other hand, have been training rigorously for the games. We are aiming to retain the SEA Games gold,” said the longtime softball patron and president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier.
The Blu Girls are also fresh off the Asia-Oceania Qualifying Tournament, where they played against the region’s top eight softball teams and finished fourth in the games.
Both teams also train everyday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Blu Girls’ pitching coach, Ronelon Pagkaliwagan expressed confidence about the preparedness of the softbelles.
“This team could be one of the most prepared, if not the most prepared squad ever formed. Pitching is superb, hitting is above average as well as fielding,” he assured.
On the other hand, Blu Boys’ head coach, Apol Rosales expects the team to retain their long-standing dominance in softball with the introduction of new and younger players in the roster, who are expected to reinforce the team’s offense and defense.
“Our younger players will surely reinforce the team’s offense and defense with their speedy movement, combined with the skills of our veteran players,” said coach Apol.
Softball has only been included nine times in the roster of events in the history of the SEA Games, of which the Philippines has consistently dominated the sport.
The Blu Girls have remained unbeaten for 42 years, while the Blu Boys have only experienced one upset against Indonesia during the 1997 SEA Games.
Softball was first introduced to the SEA Games during its 11th edition in 1981, hosted by the Philippines.
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