TEAM Manila-Philippines starts its campaign in the Pony International 18-U Girls Softball World Series against the East Hemet Screaming Eagles, one of two host teams, on Wednesday at the Diamond Valley Park in Hemet, California (Thursday, Manila time).
Standout pitchers led by Alma Tauli of FHNAS Bulacan, Shirlette Maygay of Adamson and Mery Ann Ramos of National University head the team of Filipinas, the Asia Pacific Region representatives.
Also boosting the squad are young stars led by short stops Mary Nichole Padasas of Adamson and Angelu Gabriel of Fort Bonifacio High School, 3rd baseman Madelene Domaug of FHNAS Bulacan and right fielder Krisha Cantor of Adamson.
Eight other teams, led by 2016 World Series champion Central Hemet Xplosions, are seeing action in this year’s edition of the event together with the 2017 West Zone Champion San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Moreno Valley, Indio Riverside County Reckless, Coachella Valley Chaos, Redlands South California, and the Valley-Wide Heavy Hitters.
The Manila Softbelles, coached by multi-titled UAAP and national team coach Anna Santiago, UAAP ’79 Athlete of the Year Angelie Ursabia and former Blu Girl Sheirylou Valenzuela, face the Redlands on Thursday.
The Big City softbelles, composed of the best 18-under batters picked from the National University, Ateneo de Manila University, Fort Bonifacio High School in Makati, Fortunato Halili National Agricultural School (FHNAS) in Bulacan, St. Pedro Poveda College, Beacon Academy, and UAAP 7-peat champion Adamson University, are backed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and the International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“We expect our team to face the Series’ toughest early, such as the two strong teams from host Hemet, one of which is the defending World Series Champion, as well as the current PONY West Zone Champion,” said Manila Softball President Engr. Rafael “Che” Borromeo.
“We just need to stay focused and take this one game at a time. I believe that the girls can pull this one off, but of course we cannot be over confident and should still expect stiff competition,” added Borromeo.