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Unified, meaner Fate softball team in bid to regain Bracket A slot

23 November 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao

Fate's consolidated team aims to get back to Bracket A league

All-Filipina softball team Fate has returned to the field this season as a single squadron determined to claw its way back into the Bracket A league after being relegated to Bracket B in 2020.

Captain Don Gaborno said this time around, her 16-player team has honed up its skills and built its stamina to prepare for its campaign to regain lost glory.

Fate’s form carried it to Bracket A in 2016, so team owner and manager Law Wai-ho asked Gaborno to form a team in Bracket B where new players could hone their skills.

The two teams consolidated when Fate returned to Bracket B last year after most of its veterans, like former National Team player Ma. Eva Mendez, Liza Algonez, Romela Osabel and several others either retired or shifted to cricket.

Gaborno said the current re-energized team has combined sheer determination and teamwork to win its first two matches in Bracket B so far, with four new players helping the Pinay powerhouse to each victory.

“Four players ang bago. Naipanalo din ang unang dalawang laro at kayang ipanalo dahil sa puspusang training at pursigido lahat. Malakas din ang mga kalaban, four times din kami na zero,” said Gaborno. (We have four new players. We won our first two matches and we can win more because of our intensive training and everyone’s determination. Our rivals were also strong, we could not score four times.)

In upcoming matches, she is counting on her players’ discipline, intensive training and resolve to rise to the challenge posed by Fates’ nine league opponents this season, SCAA-WSC, Satan, Feliz, Deborah, CUHK Phoenix, Red Castle Infinity, Minions, Sirius and Kith.

To get back into Bracket A, Fate has to beat top contenders Sirius, Deborah and SCAA, which have mostly well-trimmed, fleet-footed and youthful varsity players whose advantages include more practice on the field, more time for rest and better nutrition.

In contrast, the all-domestic helper Fate comprises women aged from 27 to 43, worn out by long work hours on weekdays, have insufficient rest and little food. The only day they can devote to training is Sunday, their day off, which incidentally is their game day.

Fate players go early in the morning to the Shek Kip Mei reservoir pitch to practice batting, throwing, catching and tagging to sharpen their offensive and defensive skills. Then they rest for their scheduled match for the day.

Gaborno in action: she wants Fate players to focus on their goal 

For Gaborno, admittedly the league’s fastest pitcher, her additional job on Sundays is to train two younger pitchers who she expects to take over when she is unable to pitch.

She has more time to train Fate now as a single squad, unlike when it was made up of two teams from 2016 to 2020.

The decision to consolidate is for practical reasons: it is easier to train and sharpen a single team than two on all aspects; it also cuts maintenance costs.


On top of these, the merger saves Law some $14,400 in registration fee per team by the year and every season. It reduces uniform and gear expenses as well.

The consolidation also froze recruitment of new players, giving Fate more time to focus on training, said Gaborno, who requires complete attendance in training and matches.

If the coronavirus pandemic had one positive impact, it was the ample time it had given teams like Fate to focus on training while the leagues were still suspended.


Fate stopped training for three to four months only when the field was closed, Gaborno said. That time, the weather was cool so the team went hiking and resumed training only when the pitches were reopened, she said.

While many employers barred their helpers from going out on their rest days at the height of the pandemic for fear they would bring home the virus, most of the Fate players were allowed to go out, said Gaborno.

"Alam ng mga amo kasi na lahat ay nasa field lang at nagti-training, wala sa indoors. At pinapaiwas lang ang katulong nila sa pagtambay sa Central na dating umpukan,” she said.


(Employers knew that all the players were on the field training, not indoors. They only wanted their helpers to avoid hanging out at their usual haunts in Central.)

For now, Fate has stopped recruiting new players, but Gaborno said any softball enthusiast who wants to play can join the training at Shek Kip Mei. Maybe, towards the end of the season she will update the community for tryouts some players leave, she said.

Gaborno said even the children of Filipino residents here are welcome to the team, but they must be able to practice with them every Sunday and give softball priority over other activities.


With Fate players now focused on the sport, Gaborno hopes her ultimate goal to lead the team back into Bracket A will happen this season because of the great improvement of her players.

She cited the team’s easy victories in 2021-2022 Bracket B league that began recently. Fate reasserted its dominance by beating Minions, 6-1, on Nov. 7 after vanquishing Chinese team Kith 13-4 on Oct 31.

The first three innings kept Fate on its toes when Minions’ tight defense left the Filipinas no room to score. But Roselle Joy Coloma stole a run in the fourth, giving the team 1-0.


Fate played an equally tight defense, foiling the locals’ bid to score until the sixth inning. The Filipinas added five more scores in the sixth courtesy of Coloma, Chelo Garbo, Maribel Sitchon, Daisy Maano and Editha Hidalgo to end the inning 6-0 for Fate.

Gaborno’s fast balls combined with catcher Sierra Tebia’s tight defense had a big impact when they successfully made nine standing outs in total in the entire game.

Minions were given extended time to play their last inning after the buzzer to make up for the estimated 20-minute time out when Abadilla got injured. The locals got a chance to score through Sin Yon-ying to end the game at 6-1 in favor of Fate.

In their first match on Oct 31, Fate scored six runs in their first inning against Kith via Percy Jayme, Garbo, Roselle Joy Coloma, Maano and Sitchon on their way to a 13-4 finish.

Kith only scored a run by Hui On-ying as it yielded the first inning to Fate 6-1.

In the second inning, the Filipinas made it 9-1. Jayme added a run in the third to lift Fate, 10-1. Then Gaborno, Maano and Ganitano scored again in the fourth.

Kith’s Li Tsz-yon logged a run in the fourth while Pang Way-ting and Hui On-ying made two in the last inning to end the game with Fate up 13-4. Fate now has a 2-0 slate.


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