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In Huddle

Little League real shocker

/ 01:43 AM August 18, 2013

RUFFY Ignacio labeled the feat “A real shocker” in Little  League (Junior Ladies) World Series Softball.

Ruffy is the Seattle-based secretary general of the PBA Legends  Foundation USA headed by  chair Abe King also based in Washington.

“The Asia-Pacific team, represented by a provincial squad from Iloilo,  shocked everyone here in Kirkland, Washington, by beating the No. 1 seed (East USA represented by New Jersey) in the quarterfinals, 12-11. The Philippines was seeded No. 8 after the week-long qualifying games.”


“New Jersey, on the other hand, was toting a clean 4-0 slate going into the quarterfinals. Although much taller, bulkier and more confident, they were stunned by the smaller but  speedier and tempo hit-conscious Pinays. The girls from New Jersey were crying when the game was over.”

The 10-team cast also include Italy, Mexico, California, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Canada  and Texas.

* * *

“The Filipinos found their bearings  only after  their initial jet-lagged games. They lost  to  USA regional champion Florida, 5-16,  in their first assignment because our top four players arrived from Manila barely three hours before game time, while the rest  flew in only  two days prior to competition.

On the other hand, our opponents had the  time to rest, acclimatize and adjust because they got to the venue  several days in advance and were booked in comfortable 5-star hotels,” Ruffy reported.

The Philippines beat Canada, 24-4, but lost a heartbreaker  against Ohio 0-1 on a technicality.  Ruffy said the tying run was on third but the PH runner was declared out after failing to step on the second base. “Tough luck on a late call by the umpire,” he said.

* * *

But one thing going for the Pinays, according to Ruffy, is  the full  support from fellow-Filipinos living in and around the area, game in and game out, win or lose.


“It’s like a town fiesta every time there’s a Philippine game. The Ilongos here take pride  in preparing famous dishes from their province and they don’t mind spending for this. After the game, kainan na (eating time). The feast  is for everybody—the athletes and the audience alike,” Ruffy related.

“Many of the players have confided  that the food they have eaten here  is the best they have tasted in their young lives. They are kids aged 12 -14,  children of fishermen, farmers, hacienda workers, jeepney drivers and laborers in Iloilo.”

* * *

As I write this, Ruffy said the scrappy Filipinos  should be playing their semifinal game  against Italy or Washington.

“We are good, but we also have to be lucky. If we are both, then we should win and proceed to the championship. We don’t know yet who we will be up against, if ever.”

The championship game will be played today, Sunday Manila time and televised on ESPN.

“Let’s pray for the success of the Asia-Pacific team from Iloilo, Philippines,  as it fights to bring honor to the  country,” Ruffy  said.

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TAGS: Little League, Little League (Junior Ladies) World Series Softball, Ruffy Ignacio, Softball, World Series
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