“Our main purpose is for the kids to learn and get the opportunity to go to school and get scholarship especially in college,” said coach Ramil Mercado in Filipino upon the team’s arrival from Los Angeles Thursday night.
www.littleleague.org
World Series champs bat for kids softball program
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Newly minted Senior League Softball World Series champs Tanauan hopes to inspire more kids to get into sports so that they, too, can experience all its benefits while helping bring honor to the Philippines.

“Our main purpose is for the kids to learn and get the opportunity to go to school and get scholarship especially in college,” said coach Ramil Mercado in Filipino upon the team’s arrival from Los Angeles Thursday night.

“Then we should aspire to win the world series as well so we can give the country honor and help improve its image abroad.”

It’s mission accomplished for Tanauan on both fronts.

The softbelles dished out a performance-to-remember in the 16-and-under division hostilities in Delaware, putting the finishing touches to the golden run with a 7-0 blanking of Southwest’s Texas in a finale broadcast on ESPN, and in the process catching the eyes of scouts from schools ready to offer scholarships.

“In terms of scholarships, there are already offers from private schools in Tanauan,” shared Fortunato Dimayuga Jr., the city’s sports commissioner. “In fact our ace pitcher, Royevel Palma was already offered by a university in the US, Connecticut, for her to play for them when she reaches college. We told her to consider because this is a great opportunity.”

Grade 11 Palma, who pitched a two-hitter and struck out 15 in the clincher, said she has yet to think about her collegiate plans.

The Tanauan belles gave Phl its first ever senior division world crown, joining Bacolod’s junior league squad and Manila’s big league side which ruled the world in 2003 and 2012, respectively.

“We were nervous as it was our first time to reach the championship but we overcame it because we’re fighting for the country,” Palma said in Filipino.

“The key to victory was having a hands-on approach in training and scouting our opponents. We thoroughly analyzed their games and devised ways how to beat them,” said Mercado.

The champs were treated to a welcome home dinner by Tanauan City officials led by Mayor Jhoanna Corona Villamor Thursday night and are set to be recognized during the flag-raising rites on Monday followed by a motorcade around the city.

Tanauan struck gold five years since starting its softball program. From zero win at the start, Tanauan softbelles improved to one victory on its sophomore outing, finished runner-up in the next, and finally won the Phl title last year and competed in the Junior League WS, where it wound up fifth.

Dimayuga said Tanauan’s softball and baseball program is here to stay, allaying fears of disruption following the death of Mayor Thony Halili.

“This is a very good youth program, it’s our No. 1 weapon against drugs, a tool to indulge the kids to be involved in sports so it will continue,” said Dimayuga.

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