Gilas stars turn cheerleaders as PH Blu Girls keep Asiad medal hopes alive
Gilas players Ranidel de Ocampo, Gary David, and LA Tenorio showed up for the Philippine Blu Girls' match against Thailand on Tuesday. Reuben Terrado

INCHEON, Korea — With Gilas Pilipinas players watching from the stands, the Philippine Blu Girls routed Thailand, 13-0, in four innings on Tuesday at the Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium to clinch a spot in the page system semifinals of the Asian Games.

Starter Veronica Belleza had a no-hitter spiked by three strikeouts in two and one-third innings before Analie Benjamen closed the match yielding only two hits for the Blu Girls (2-3), who pelted the Thais with 15 hits.

Morgan Stuart had three RBIs while Garie Blando and Leia Ruiz had two for the Blu Girls, who were thrilled to have Gilas players Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Jared Dillinger, Gabe Norwood, Gary David, and Ranidel De Ocampo watching their game from the sidelines.

The Blu Girls scored seven and six runs each in the second and third innings to set the stage for the rout.

“As expected, we beat them. But not that way na from the beginning, the players were all out kaagad with all those hits,” said Blu Girls coach Randy Dizer.

“We are happy that they are here,” said Dizer of the Gilas players, who took a rare break after playing five games for five days.

Unlike Gilas which is out already out of contention, the fourth-ranked Blu Girls will face third seed China in the page system semifinals with the winner assured of a bronze medal.

The Blu Girls expressed confidence that they can beat China despite an 8-2 loss to the same team in the elimination round.

“It’s not yet over. We need that win tomorrow. If they play the way the play in the last two games, malaki ang chance natin. And they are up to it. But China is still the team to beat. Asian champion pa rin sila,” said Dizer.

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