Softbelles, under the radar, make waves
JAKARTA—Away from the limelight, overshadowed by the media attention sprayed on celebrity teams, the Blu Girls are demanding to be noticed in the Asian Games here.
Not through words, but through hard-fought, scintillating, win-producing action.
“The team is good, our bonding is good despite [the fact that] we were not able to train as a team because of [a] typhoon back in Manila,” said skipper Chezka Altomonte.
The Blu Girls have long been the gold standard of the sport in the Southeast Asian region. But after several huge accomplishments overseas, they are hungry for more.
“We hope for the best as a team. We can’t relax, we have to get going,” she added.
The Blu Girls battled powerhouse Japan, owners of an 8-0 finals victory over the Philippines in the Asian Championships, late Tuesday night.
Smarting from that loss, the Blu Girls took another 11-1 defeat to the Japanese here. But that didn’t stop them from aiming high and replacing Japan as the sport’s continental alpha.
“We don’t want to just duplicate our effort in the Asian Championships but surpass it,” Altomonte said. “Our team is in high spirits and we got fired up by the support of the locals here.”
Win or lose, the team’s chances hinge on a crucial doubleheader on Wednesday.
The Philippines tackles Indonesia at Gelora Bung Karno diamond at 12:30 p.m. before returning to the field at 8 p.m. against Chinese Taipei.
The Blu Girls opened the tournament with a tense 5-3 victory over Korea before bringing down powerhouse China, 1-0. And even after suffering a first loss, hopes remain high.
“That is a very important win [against Chinese Taipei] for us,” national coach Venerando Dizer said. “We’ll have a foot in the next round [with the win].”
And, perhaps, a bigger space in the public eye.