TEAM Manila-Philippines trained at the Artesia Park in Cerritos before going to the Hemet for its title defense in the 2018 Pony World Series 18-U Girls Softball Championship on Tuesday in California (Wednesday, Manila time).
Five top hurlers led by last year’s World Series best pitcher Alma Tauli, veterans Shirlette Maygay and Karen Nicole Chavez of Adamson, Glory Alonzo from the Domingo Lacson National High School in Negros Occidental, and 15-year old heavy-hitting Alexandra Isabel Romero-Salas from the Maria Montessori Children School in Paranaque lead the Big City softbelles.
Also expected to deliver are veteran catcher Aliza Pichon, shortstop Maria Angelu Gabriel, center fielder Khrisha Cantor, first baseman and outfielder Cleofe Magsayo, outfielder Alaiza Montejo Talisik, and second baseman Mary Joy Maguad of Adamson, as well as left fielder Jojielyn Lim and third baseman Madaelene Domaug from the Fortunato Halili National Agricultural School in Bulacan.
“Tingin ko malakas ang team natin, mga bata nga pero lahat may experience na sa World Series. Malaki ang tsansa natin na makalaro uli ng championship game,” said Anna Santiago, the multi-titled coach of Adamson and head coach of the national team, who will be assisted by Sheirylou Valenzuela, Stan Terrones, and Fr. Rock Joseph Enriquez.
The Manila Softbelles will battle 2016 World Series Champion Central Hemet Xplosions and Redlands South California in a doubleheader on Wednesday, face off with Moreno Valley and Blake in another double header on Thursday, before its last seeding assignment against Mayhem on Friday.
Manila Softball president Rafael “Che” Borromeo is upbeat about the chances of retaining the crown.
“I think this is a well-balanced and experienced team and I expect the girls to give a good account of themselves in this World Series,” said Borromeo of the team backed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and the International Container Terminal Services Inc.