A group of Pinays made their mark on sports history, proving that the Philippines isn't lacking in great athletes. The Manila Women's Softball Team just won the Big League Softball World Series title, which was held in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 8 (August 9 in the Philippines).
According to a report by Inquirer.net, Team Manila, which consisted of varsity members from Adamson University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the East and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, defeated the players from Westchester, California with a score of 14-2. It was the country’s second title in the World Series tournaments, with its first being a Junior League title in 2003.
The team is dedicating its victory to the victims of the floods that ravaged the country the past few days. “This championship is dedicated to Filipinos who are experiencing tough times because of the flood,” said Manila coach Ana Santiago.
It was a sweet victory for the girls, who almost did not make it to the tournament because they lacked the money to pay for their tickets to the United States. They were helped by a number of generous sponsors, corporations and organizations, including former President Joseph Estrada, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Team manager Rafael “Che” Borromeo said that they still owe a travel agency $16,000 for their tickets.
Despite their financial problems, the team still proved that they deserve all the support they got. “It all boiled down to the players’ determination to win,” said Che in a phone interview with the Inquirer.
“If we wanted to be champions, we should play like champions and we did,” said Ana. “It was almost perfect. And the support by the crowd was just overwhelming.”
(Photo courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs)