Posted May 9th, 2012 by Lito Cinco
ASIDE from basketball, softball is the only other sport where Filipino athletes are imported by foreign commercial ball clubs to help them win games and improve the skill levels of their local players. In fact, many Blu Boys and Blu Girls have accepted the job offers coming their way.
In the recent 2012 Cebuana Lhuillier Summer Grandslam National Softball Open, four foreign teams—three Indonesian and one from Brunei—are playing and two of them have Filipino players in their lineup. Most notable is Apol Rosales, a longtime national player, who was signed up to play for Kensei-Brunei for this tournament. He has played for other Indonesian and Brunei teams the past seven years.
“Maganda rin naman para sa amin dahil bukod sa hanapbuhay, exposed kami sa magagaling na pitchers galing Canada, Australia, at New Zealand. Natututo kaming mag-adjust sa kanila. Tapos ‘yung mga local teammates naman namin, natututo naman sa amin. Mas maraming tournaments kaming nalalaruan sa Indonesia kaysa sa Brunei,” said Rosales, who was described by his Kensei Canadian pitcher teammate Jeffrey Farion as capable of playing in North American softball leagues.
Also playing for a foreign team is the duo of Blu Girls’ Dione Macasu and Esmeralda Tayag, who anchor the Papua Province team from Indonesia.
“Idols kami du’n kaya kailangan naming magpakita talaga. Na-i-inspire kami ng teammates namin ‘pag naglalaro kami sa Indonesia or Brunei. ‘Yun nga lang, mas nakikinabang sila kaysa sa amin dahil natututo sila sa amin,” said Macasu.
UE coach and Blu Girl Joy Lasquite also has been playing abroad for the past few years, mostly in Indonesia.
“Napataas namin ang level nila kaya nga siguro palagi kaming pinapabalik du’n. Actually, parang bakasyon ito sa amin dahil lalaro ka lang mga once week. Kikita ka na, libre pa board and lodging at uniforms namin.”
Yocel Aguilar played in Indonesia and Brunei for two years. She said Filipino players raise the quality of the games in countries where they play. “Malaking tulong sa mga teams na pinaglalaruan namin ‘yung paglalaro namin du’n. Kami naman, nakaka-scout din kami ng mga makakalaban namin sa SEA Games o sa Asian Games.”
Other Filipino players who are regulars in Brunei and Indonesia are Jasper Cabrera and Jancid Abello, who were cited by Farion as among the best Filipino softball players, together with Rosales. “Maybe they just need to be seen by American ball clubs so they can be recruited there,” said Farion.
(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/May/09)