San Juan battles Manila, Camarines plays Toledo in finals

May 20, 2024 Ed Andaya 558 views

IT will be two-time champion San Juan Predators against Manila Load Manna Knights and Camarines Eagles against Toledo Trojans in the finals of the Northern and Southern Conferences of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino tournament.

And all four teams did it the hard way.

San Juan brought down Cavite Spartans,12-9 and 11.5-9.5, while Manila pulled the rug from under multi-titled Pasig Pirates, 13,5-7.5 and 14-7, to arrange a title showdown in the Northern Conference.

Camarines survived Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, 12.5-8.5, and 9-12, 2-1 Armageddon, while Toledo eliminated Davao Eagles, 14-5.6-5 and 14.5-6.5, to set up a final match in the Southern Conference.

Of the four teams, only the Predators have championship experience.

GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr, overwhelmed Michael Concio and Joel Banawa, Jr.,3-0, Karl Victor Ochoa bested Concio and Kevin Arquero, 2.5-.5, Im Ricardo de Guzman edged GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. 2-1, and Narquinden Reyes clobbered Renie Malupa and Alexis Maribao, 3-0, to lead San Juan to victory in the first set.

Kylen Mordido provided the bright spot for Cavite when she upset WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, 3-0, in the female board.

Ochoa was again the top scorer for San Juan in the second set as he defeated Concio and Banawa.

Fronda edged Mordido, 2-1, while Narquingel Reyes nipped Roel Abelgas and Maribao, 2-1, to complete the Predators’ two-set triumph.

Manila relied on Jan Emmanuel Garcia, who bested Nelson Mariano and Jerome Villanueva, 3-0; IM Chito Garma, who blanked IM Cris Ramayrat, 3-0; and David Elorta, who outplayed Villanueva and Eric Labog, 2.5-.5, to subdue Pasig in the first of their two-set encounter.

The Load Manna Knights then finished off the Pirates in the second set as IM Paulo Bersamina swept GM Mark Paragua, 3-0; GM Julio Catalino Sadorra humbled Mariano. 2-1; Garma defeated Ramayrat, 2-1, and Elorta humbled Eric and Kevin Labog, 2.5-.5.

The battle is just as tight and exciting in the Southern Conference.

Camarines and Surigao split the first two matches in their semfiinal duel, with the Eagles winning 12.5-8.5, and the Fianchetto Checkmates battling back to draw even, 12-9.

But Camarines ended Surigao’s title hopes with a 2-1 decision in Armangeddon.

Bernadette Galas, Barlo Nadera and Ronald Llavanes carried the fight for Camarines in the first set, while Junmark Baldesimo and Rhenz Auza led Surigao’s victory in the second set.

GM Darwin Laylo and IM Rolando Nolte battled to 1.5-1.5 draw in the featured board one match.

In the other semis match, Toledo asserted its mastery ovwr Davao with similar impressive 14.5-6.5 and 14.5-6.5 triumph in two sets.

Leading the Trojans of Atty. Jeah Gacang were Joel PImentel, Samson Lin and Cherry Ann Mejia, who hurdled their respective opponents in the first three boards.

Pimentel crushed Jonathan Tan, 3-0; Lim outclassed Arnel Aton, 3-0; and Mejia edged Karen Enriquez, 2-1.

Lim, Mejia, IM Angelo Young and Diego Caperino completed Toledo’s surprisingly easy win over Davao.

PCAP, the country’s first and only professional chess league, is headed by President-Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria an Chairman Michael Angelo Chua of San Juan Predators.

The tournament is sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Atty. Richard Clarin.

Games Wednesday:

North — No. 1. San Juan Predators vs No. 3 Manila Load Manna Knights.
South — No. 1 Camarines Eagles vs. No. 2 Toledo Trojans