AROUND the same time that 11 Filipino athletes are seeking glory in the London Games , three teams will be invading the different parts of the United States carrying the country’s tri-colors in separate World Series for boys baseball and girls softball.
First to try their luck to bring the world championship to our shores are the the Muntinlupa Big League boys baseballers aged 16-18 who will be vying for honors in the World Series from July 25 to August 1 in Easley, South Carolina.
The very next day, from August 2 to August 8, Team Manila’s Big Leaguers, three-time runners-up in girls softball 16-18, will be trying to end their run of bridesmaid finishes in Kamalazoo, Michigan.
The International Little League of Manila’s softbelles, on the other hand, see action in Portand, Oregon for the Big League World Series for girls softball in the 11-12 age level from August 9 to 15.
Muntinlupa and ILLAM’ trips have been fully paid by Little International on the strength of their victory in the Asia-Pacific eliminations.
Team Manila, which dominated Indonesia in a two-team, best-of-five series, could only get a US$10,000 subsidy from the international federation and local officials said the team still needs $32,000 for the team members’ plane fares.
A Filipina working in Jakarta by the name of Betty Abalos donated $1,800 for the plane fare of one player after learning of the team’s financial problems, but officials have yet to raise all needed funds.
Eight of Santiago’s 13-girl lineup comes from UAAP softball champion Adamson, headed by league MVP and ace pitcher Rizza Bernardino. It also includes pitcher/outfielder Glesyl Opjer, pitcher/ infielder Michelle Lentija, Mary Jane Fabellar, Andrea Mae Gonzales, Queeny Sabobo, Baby Jane Raro and Krisna Paguican.
University of Santo Tomas Tigresses Maria Luna Amparo, Kristine Joy Lacupa and Chamaine Joy Orzia beef up the team along with University of the East’s Gene Joy Parilla and Mary Joy Floranza of Polytechnic University of the Philippines.