INCHEON, South Korea - The Philippine Blu Girls begin its medal bid on Saturday in the 2014 Asian Games softball competitions at the Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium here.
The fancied Blu Girls take on Korea at 11:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Manila time) and Japan later at 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. Manila time), with the team looking to at least salvage a bronze medal in the six-team tournament.
“Bronze medal is our modest target. This is the strongest team we have formed in the Asian Games,” said Blu Girls coach Ana Santiago, who led Adamson to a number of UAAP championships in softball.
The Blu Girls have reasons to be optimistic about a medal finish after recruiting six Fil-Americans to beef up the squad and help the locals.
Ace pitcher Veronica Belleza of Rizal Technological University, Rizza Bernardino, Analie Benjamen, Luzviminda Embudo, Lorna Adorable, Elma Parohinog, and Angelie Ursabia of Adamson, and Marlyn Francisco of University of the East comprise the team.
NCAA Division One standouts Francesca Foti and Garie Blando of University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dani Gilmore of Oregon State University, Morgan Stewart of University of Washington, Leia Ruiz of San Diego State University, and Gabby Rodas of Cal State Fullerton have also joined the Blu Girls.
The Blu Girls played a tune-up game against China on the eve of the meet but was halted after the fifth inning due to rain. The game ended in a 0-0 tie but the Philippines had more hits, 3-1.
Japan is expected to figure for the gold along with Chinese Taipei, China, South Korea, and Thailand. The top four teams move to the page-system semifinals.