The men’s and women’s softball teams had contrasting fortunes to open their Southeast Asian Games campaign Saturday at the Jakabaring Sports Complex in Palembang, Indonesia.
The RP Blu Boys suffered a stunning 4-2 defeat at the hands of host Indonesia. The Blu Girls, meanwhile, dominated Thailand, 10-1.
The Philippines is considered a powerhouse team in Southeast Asia so the loss of the Blu Boys is deemed an upset. The Blu Boys and Girls won gold in the 2005 and the 2007 edition of the Games. Softball was not held the Laos SEA Games in 2009.
The Blu Boys lost despite scattering five hits and yielding only four to the Indonesians, the 2007 silver medalist. A three-run second inning proved to be enough for the host country.
The Blu Girls never gave Thailand a chance scoring five runs in the third inning to pull away.
In an interview with InterAKTV prior to the SEA Games, Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) operations director Jun Veloso stressed that Indonesia is hell bent on winning gold in their home country.
“May mga kaibigan tayo sa Indonesia na nagsabi na they will do everything to win the gold. Sagot ko naman sa kanila, we will do everything to win the gold,” said Veloso.
The Blu Boys welcomed the return of veteran pitcher Florante Acuna and third baseman Apolonio Rosales to the line-up. The Blu Girls also added four players from UAAP schools to strengthen the team.
The Blu Boys hope to bounce back from the loss as they face Singapore Sunday before wrapping up the preliminaries against Malaysia on Monday.
The Blu Girls will also play Singapore on Monday and Indonesia and Malaysia on Tuesday.