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SEA Games: PH Blu Girls in league of their own, blank Indonesia to retain the gold

By Jonas Terrado

CLARKFIELD, Pampanga — The Philippine Blu Girls gave their two departing players a fitting sendoff by blanking Indonesia 8-0 to retain the gold in women’s softball of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Clark International Sports Complex here.

The PH Blu Girls thank their fans after routing Indonesia in the softball finals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Sunday. (Jonas Terrado)

The PH Blu Girls thank their fans after routing Indonesia in the softball finals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Sunday. (Jonas Terrado)

The Blu Girls scored all of their runs in the second inning while Ann Antolihao and Lyca Basa combined to pitch a shutout to expectedly keep the Philippines’ softball supremacy in the region.

The win turned out to be more important for catcher Cheska Altomonte and shortstop Garie Blando, who made it known that the game will be their last for the national team.

Cheska Altomonte, right, and Garrie Blando pose with the flag after the Philippine Blu Girls beat Indonesia 8-0 in five innings to win the gold in women's softball (Jonas Terrado)

Cheska Altomonte, right, and Garrie Blando pose with the flag after the Philippine Blu Girls beat Indonesia 8-0 in five innings to win the gold in women’s softball (Jonas Terrado)

Altomonte, 25, said it was time to give the younger players a chance while shifting on the management aspect of the team while Blando is focusing on becoming a doctor.

“I think I’ve given everything to the team from leading it to managing it to doing administrative stuff,” Altomonte said. “I think this is a good time for the young pool to come in and train for the next tournament.”

Coach Randy Dizer, however, believes that Altomonte’s decision is far from being moot and academic.

““She’s a big cog for the team kung mawawala,” said Dizer, who has handled Altomonte since she was 12 years old.

“But I don’t think she will leave. She’s my baby. Hindi titigil yan because looking at it, ang prime ng softball player is 28, 29, 30,” added Dizer.

The Blu Boys, meanwhile, suffered a 6-1 loss to Singapore to settle for silver in men’s softball.

Singapore erupted for three runs in the second inning to deny the Philippines the gold for the first time since the 1997 Jakarta Games.

It was the third defeat by the Blu Boys against the Singaporeans this year, including the World Championship and the Page System semis of these Games.

“It is a wake-up para sa atin at saka eye opener na wag tayong titigil at masikap pa rin tayo. At saka di na basta-basta ang kalaban natin dahil kung saan-saan sila nag-training,” said Dela Cruz.

“Pero hindi kung sinasabi na wala tayong laban, babangon ulit tayo,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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