DEFENDING champion Iloilo Kisela Knights and two-time winner San Juan Predators set out as the early favorites in the 2022 PCAP GM Wesley So Cup chess championships.
Iloilo, bannered by GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr, and WIM Cherry Ann Mejia, will open its campaign against guest team Philippine Chess League in the Southern Division while San Juan, led by GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, will take on Mindoro Tamaraws in the Northern Division.
Iloilo and San Juan disputed the championships in the last three conferences, with the Kisela Knights winning the 2021 GM Wesley So Cup (Second Conference) and the Predators ruling the 2021 Open (Third Conference) and 2022 All-Filipino (First Conference)
Laguna Heroes, who emerged as PCAP’s first champion by topping the 2021 All-Flipino against Camarines Soaring Eagles, will meet Cavite Spartans in the tournanent sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.
Camarines, whIch merged with fellow Bicol team Iriga Oragons, will play the Toledo Trojans in another featured encounter.
Other opening-day matches will pit Pasig Pirates against Olongapo Rainbow, Caloocan Load Manna Knights against Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, Cagayan Kings against Rizal Towers and Manila Indios Bravos against Isabela Knight Raiders in the North; Davao Eagles against Tacloban Vikings, Zamboanga Sultans against Cebu Machers, Negros Kingsmen against Palawan Queen’s Gambits and Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates against Cagayan De Oro.
A coloful opening ceremony at 6 p.m. will formally kick off the competiion with inspirational remarks from GM So and Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra
PCAP Chairman Michael Angelo Chua will make the welcome remarks, while PCAP Commissioner-President Atty. Paul Elauria will give the closing speech.World IPCA champion IM Sander Severino will lead the oath of sportsmanship in the tournament.
Highlight of the Saturday event is the awarding of trophies and prizes to the team and individual winners of the recently-concluded PCAP All-Filipino Conference. By Ed Andaya