THE Philppines team are indeed creating waves with their run in the U15 Women’s Softball Asia Cup at the Fu-Hsing Softball Stadium in Puli Township, Nantou, Chinese Taipei, and are one step away from earning a World Cup berth from the bronze medal play-off tomorrow.
And that Philippines may not even had a team here in Puli, it is indeed commendable.
The Philippines coach Randy Dizer had called Michele Ann Obela, a parent of a player and also actively involved in softball in Pasig, to ask here if they were interested to field a team representing Philippines in Puli as the Philippines Amateur Softball Association, did not funds to send a team.
Michele together with another parent, Giovanni Mapa, got to work immediately as their youth teams are actively involved in the Little League in Manila.
They managed to rope in three private schools – St Pedro Poveda College, Mimam College and Immaculate Conception Academy from Metro Manila – and two Public
Schools – San Miguel National High School from Bulacan and Rizal High School from Pasiq – to form a team.
Next was the funding to bring the team to Puli and this was when Michele and Giovanni led the sponsorship plan with other parents to raise the money.
While Michele’s daughter, Pilar Isabel and Giovanni’s daughter Zarene are in the team, the other parents whose daughters are in team and contributed are parents of Jaz Katiana Efrain Fontillas, Xyesha Margaret Atchioco, and Daphne Maxinne Ramos.
“It is a substantial amount to raise, but we parents wanted to contribute for the sake of our children and above all the development and future of the game,” said Giovanni, a businessman.
“And we are glad that we brought the team here because it has been a tremendous learning experience for these young girls to play the top teams in the region and we ourselves have done reasonably well,” said Michele.
“Our target here is to qualify for the World Cup in Japan in October and if we achieve that, it will be a further boost for the development of the game among grassroots in Philippines” said Giovanni.
Philippines will play Korea in the third placing match tomorrow for the second berth to the World Cup.
Japan who are the host of the inaugural World Cup, in the Asia Cup final tomorrow will be up against Chinese Taipei, have earned automatic berth as World Cup host
While Chinese Taipei gets the first ticket, leaving Philippines and Korea to fight for the second berth.
Philippines having edged Korea narrowly 2-1 in the opening day of the competition in the round robin league match, certainly will go to the match with boosted confidence.
And being a parents sponsored team, surely the team will be further motivated to make their parents proud of them.