The Philippine Blu Girls asserted their dominance in the recently concluded 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games softball tournament by clinching their 10th straight gold medal— and they only had the home crowd to thank.
Members of the national women’s softball squad said that despite feeling “pressured” during their finals match against Indonesia, the squad eventually pulled through with the help— and inspiration—from the full force Philippine audience.
“May pressure ‘yun, pero mas naging ano (lamang) ‘yung pagiging excited kasi ang daming nanood. Na-surprise kami sa crowd,” Philippine team member Angelie Ursabia told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Friday.
[Translation: There was pressure, but our excitement eventually prevailed because a lot of people watched. We were really surprised with the crowd.]
“Kaya mas ginalingan namin kasi ang daming tao. First time namin maglaro na ang daming tao,” she added.
[Translation: That’s why we stepped up our game because a lot of people were watching. It was our first time to play before a big crowd.]
The Blu Girls, dubbed as the queens of Southeast Asian softball, sprinted their way to another gold medal finish on Sunday with an 8-0 drubbing of their Indonesian foes.
The national squad hopes the recent feat will pave the way for the sport—which they said is “relatively unknown” in the country—to gain its much deserved traction even after the biennial meet.
“‘Yun nga po ang problema namin, bakit hindi kilala talaga ang softball. Siguro kasi nakatutok sila sa basketball, volleyball, ‘yung mga sikat,” Arianne Vallestero noted.
[Translation: That’s our problem, why is softball still not recognized? Maybe it’s because people are focused on basketball, volleyball, and other mainstream sports.]
The team meanwhile urged young athletes to try out the sport—and dished out a piece of advice for those interested.