Negrenses behind Iloilo softball squad in WVRAA

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


WILL the Negros softball squads be able to defend their respective fields when the 2012 Western Visayas Regional Athletic (WVRAA) Meet kicks off on March 12-16 here in Bacolod City?

This will be answered later as 16-time Palarong Pambansa softball coach Tony Oquindo and 2003 World Series Little League Softball champion mentor Reynaldo “Guy” Fuentes were reportedly behind the team-building of regional archrival Iloilo softbelles who will be represented mostly by players from Zarraga District in Iloilo.

With Oquindo and Fuentes behind the Zarraga District's elementary and secondary teams, both squads won last year’s provincial meet in Iloilo after a long-title drought since 1988.

The teams will officially be headed by Melo Pedregoza (elementary) and Romeo Golez (secondary).

The 64-year-old Oquindo, who called the play for the Negros squads for many years and defended its Palarong Pambansa title for 15 straight years, has offered his services to Iloilo last year before his retirement as faculty of the Domingo Lacson National High School.

After the 3-2 loss against the National Capital Region during the 2010 Palarong Pambansa in Tarlac, Oquindo’s girls took back the crown from the latter squad in last year’s Palaro in Dapitan.

The multi-titled mentor has led the Lacsonians not only as one of the country’s strongest teams but also in Asia and in the world.

The Lacsonians, under Oquindo’s direction, was able to defend its Philippine Series crown, Asia Pacific Regional Softball Tournament titles for many times and represented the Asian region to the World Series where it established a reputation as one of the strongest teams in the league.

Oquindo has also produced many softbelles who are currently the core players of Adamson University, Rizal Technological University and the Central Philippine University. He has developed standouts who donned the national colors in many international competitions like the last Asian Games in Indonesia where nine of 13 members of the Philippine Blu Girls are products of Oquindo.

Among these players are Angelique and Annalie Benjamen, Cindy Carol Banay, Elvie Entrina, Luzviminda Embudo, Queeny Sabobo, Rizza Bernardino, Sarah Jane Agravante and Veronica Belleza.

On the other hand, Fuentes led the Paglaum Village National High School batters to the 2003 Junior League World Series crown in Kirkland, Washington after defeating Puerto Rico in the finals, 2-0.

Fuentes also posted a second-place finish in the World Series in 2000 and a pair of third-place outings in 2001 and 2002. (HGD/SCOOP-Bacolod)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 26, 2012.

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