Blu Girls gun for Tokyo berth.
The Philippine women's softball team will swing for the fences to get a crack at a slot in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Having trained and competed extensively abroad, the Blu Girls will take part in the World Baseball/Softball Championship qualifying for Asia/Oceania in Shanghai, China, on Sept. 24-29.
Softball chief Jean Henri Lhuillier said the Shanghai tournament is the last window for the Blu Girls to qualify to 2020 Games, which will only have slots for six teams for the region.
Japan, the World No. 2, is automatically seeded to the Olympics as host country.
The Blu Girls competed in the World Cup and Canada Cup where they scored victories over Canada, Mexico, Australia and Chinese Taipei, countries that are in the top six nations in the world.
The team also saw action in the US International Cup, competing against the top-ranked teams early this year.
Team manager Randy Dizer said they are upbeat about the Blu Girls' chances, having assembled the best possible team.
The Blu Girls are widely regarded as queens of Southeast Asia, having won all nine gold medals in the SEA Games when the sport was played.
But their glory days were back in the '70s when the Philippines finished third in the 1970 World Championships, and champions in the Asian Championships in 1972.