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‘To win a World Cup, play a perfect game,’ says Altamonte

NATIONAL team catcher Chezka Altamonte knew there is only way to win in the Women’s Softball World Cup — play a perfect game.

“It’s tough to win in the World Cup,” said Ms. Altamonte, who is also the concurrent Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines secretary-general in yesterday’s (July 11) Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Philippine Sports Commission building in Malate, Manila.

“But if we want to win, it has to be a perfect game, meaning no mistakes, perfect pitching. We can really be competitive if we can all do that,” she added.

Ms. Altamonte and the rest of the Cebuana Lhuillier-backed Blu Girls will try to shock the world as they clash against the best the planet can offer in Pool C of the group stages set July 22 to 26 in Castions di Strada, Italy. The Filipinas, who will be mentored by Ana Santiago, finished fourth in the Asia Cup in Incheon, South Korea last April that earned them a spot to the World Cup where they are bracketed with powerhouse Japan, Canada, Venezuela, Italy and New Zealand.

To make it to the Grand Finals, the country would need to finish in the top two of their group.

Also in the team are pitchers Glory Alonzo, Mary Ann Antolihao, Ma. Celyn Ojare, Royevel Palma and Reyae Mae Lubuguin, outfielders Cristy Joy Roa, Alaiza Talisik, Danica Aquino and Krishna Genuary Cantor, and infielders Sky Ellazar, Ma. Angelu Gabriel, Nicole Hammoude and Mary Joy Echalar.

Ms. Altamonte is also optimistic they can snare a medal in the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled Sept. 23 to Oct. 8.

“We’re eyeing a podium finish and I think we can,” said Ms. Altamonte. — Joey Villar

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