DELAWARE --- Team Manila–Philippines takes on San Juan–Puerto Rico in one of four matches lined up Tuesday morning (Manila time) when the 2014 edition of the World Series kicks off at the Layton Field in the sprawling Pyles Center here.
The Asia Pacific champions arrived in this warm but windy city of Sussex Sunday in high spirits notwithstanding the long flight from Los Angeles where they have been subjected to a number of grueling training sessions by coach Anna Santiago in preparation for their bid to reclaim the world crown they won in 2012.
The Big City softbelles, composed of the best 18-under UAAP batters picked from the University of Sto. Tomas, National University, University of the East, and defending UAAP champion Adamson University, is backed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Philippine Airlines and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).
Four standout pitchers in Mary Ann Antolihao and Mary Luisse Garde of UST, as well as Baby Jane Raro and Riflayca Basa of Adamson University, together with catcher and third base Roxzell Pearl Niloban will power Team Manila.
The softbelles are also reinforced by veterans led by shortstop Queeny Sabobo, utility Angelie Ursabia and outfielder Lorna Adorable all of Adamson University, as well as third base Arianne Vallestero of National University.
“We have been bracketed among the Series’ toughest teams in Pool A together with upcoming Puerto Rico, Florida and two strong teams from host Delaware, one of which is the defending champion,” said Manila Little League Philippines president “Che Borromeo.
“I believe that the girls can pull this one off, but of course we do expect very stiff competition.”
Eight other regional champion teams led by 2013 World Series defending titlist Laurel–Delaware (Host Dist. 3) are seeing action together with San Juan–Puerto Rico (Latin America), Windsor–Ontario (Canada), Grand Rapids–Michigan (USA Central), Antelope Valley–California (USA West), Cape Coral–Florida (USA Southeast), Calhoun–Louisiana (USA Southwest), and Milford–Delaware (USA East).
After Puerto Rico, Team Manila–Philippines next face Milford–Delaware (August 5), followed by defending champion Laurel–Delaware (August 6) and the All-Star team from Cape Coral–Florida (August 7).