Pinay sluggers confident in reclaiming World Series crown
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 28, 2015 06:44 PM
Coach Ana Santiago (middle in white shirt) is flocked by some of her players that will see action in the Big League World Series.
The Philippine softball team bound to the Big League World Series is confident about its chances of regaining back the title it won three years ago.
Coach Ana Santiago said enough preparation and less concern on the team’s funding give her enough reason to be positive about the campaign of the national squad represented by the core of reigning five-peat UAAP champions Adamson Lady Falcons.
“Yes of course,” said the veteran mentor when asked during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate on Tuesday if she thinks the team is capable of making it as far as the semifinals of the tournament.
Last year, the Filipina softbelles finished fourth, a placing which Santiago believes is capable of being surpassed by the current team, majority of its members are with the squad that won the gold in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore recently.
“Yung training na ginawa namin and sacrifices ng mga bata, I believe they deserve to be in the semis, and of course, in the finals,” said the veteran mentor, who was joined in the same session by several members of the team.
The team’s bevy of pitchers led by Mary Ann Antolihao also boosts its bid to win back the crown Team Manila won for the country in 2012.
“Sa softball alam naman natin ang first line of defense natin is pitcher. And ngayon mas preparado kami (pitchers),” said Santiago, who was grateful for the funding Manila Mayor Erap Estrada and Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno extended to the team.
The team left for Sussex County, Delaware Wednesday morning.
Santiago was also coach of Team Manila when it ruled the tournament during its 2012 edition by beating Westchester, California in the final, 14-2.
And just like in the past, Santiago ranks California as among the teams likely to give the Filipina softbelles a run for their money.
“Puerto Rico, Michigan, and California ang mga teams which we might meet in the semis,” said Santiago.