The Philippine Blu Boys will be in Shinanto, Japan in September to vie for one of the two slots at stake in the Asian men’s softball qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup Championship scheduled in New Zealand.
Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president and sportsman- businessman Jean Henri Lhuillier is optimistic of his team’s chances to achieve its objective and play in the world championship next year.
“I believe the Blu Boys have what it takes to become a world-class team. We have always been one of the softball powerhouses in Asia and now they have the opportunity to show how far they can go in this qualifying event,” said Lhuillier after the team made a courtesy call in his office prior to its departure.
Head coach Apol Rosales shared the same optimism.
“This is a better, stronger, faster and younger team, a good mix of veteran and collegiate players. We just completed a three-game series of exhibition games against strong teams from Batangas and Laguna, and won all our games without surrendering any run. We are ready to compete and our chances of winning one of the two seats here are more than 50-50.”
Aside from the Philippines, six other teams are competing in the qualifiers, led by top seed Japan, ranked first in the world, and is expected to take first place.
The other teams are SEA Games’ champion Singapore, no.13 in the world rankings; India, ranked 16th; Hong Kong-China, no.21; Thailand, no.27, and Chinese Taipei, no.28. The Blu Boys are ranked 17th.
The ASAPHIL chief maintained that it will do its best “to ensure our team remains a dominant name in Asia, even as we continue our drive to be competitive at the world level.”