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Tainan City, Taiwan - The RP Blu Girls suffered yet another setback in their bid to take the first Philippine seat in the Olympic softball as they were routed by host country, Chinese Taipei, 5-1, in the ongoing Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier.

"We probably played our best game today. All their runs were scored on hits, we got six hits and again wala lang tayong clutch hitting. We were not able to deliver in the crucial stages and this we can attribute to inexperience in playing high-level games," said RP Blu Girls assistant coach Kiko Diaz.

The team, however, is still upbeat that they can reach the play-offs, at the most tie the number two spot if they win all their remaining matches.

What is critical, according to Diaz, is for the team to grab every opportunity to score in all of its games and for the Blu Girls to be extra aggressive in taking those chances.

"The players are upbeat having played well against Chinese Taipei today and we believe kaya nilang maglaro ng maganda. They have to help out each other in seizing every opportunity that may come their way," added Diaz.

The loss came after another defeat yesterday in the hands of Olympians, New Zealand, 17-4. The Kiwis' extra practice (coming from six warm-up games in Melbourne, Australia), tight losses in previous tournaments and strong at-bats had made it difficult for the Philippine contingent to make the most out of the eight hits they made as against 17 from New Zealand. loss

The Philippines will face Singapore later this afternoon for the start of the second round. Under the double round robin format, every team will have to play one another twice. The two teams with the best records will then advance in a best-of-three series to determine the champion and compete in next year's Beijing Olympics.

TEAM STANDINGS (As of press time):

Chinese Taipei 5-0
New Zealand 4-1
North & South Korea 2-2
Philippines 1-4
Singapore 0-5

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