TOP seeds San Juan Predators and Cordova Dagami Warriors set out as the prohibitive favorites when they take on separate opponents in the 2021 PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess championships.
San Juan will take on upset-conscious Antipolo Cobras, while Cordova will battle Negros Kingsmen in a pair of exciting semifinal matches in both the North and South Divisions in the tournament sponsored by San Miguel Corporation.
The Predators, bannered by GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, slammed the door on Cavite Spartans, 12-9 and 18-3, while the Cobras led by David Elorta and CM Christy Lamiel Bernales, shocked No. 3 Caloocan Load Manna Knights, 16-5 and 9.5-11.5 and 2-1, in Armageddon.
No. 2 seed Manila Indios Bravos and All-Filipino champion and No. 3 seed Laguna Heroes clash in the other North semifinal.
Manila overwhelmed No. 7 Isabela Knight Raiders, 16-5 and 10-11 and 3-0 in Armageddon, while Laguna swept No. 6 Pasig Pirates, 12-9 and 17.5-3.5, to arrange a semifinal duel.
Deniel Causo toppled import WGM Mai Hung Thi Nguyen, Jerome Balico surprised IM Emmanuel Senador and import Yosef Taher outwitted NM Gerardo Cabellon as the Indios Bravos completed 3-0 shutout win over the Knight Raiders.
Laguna relied on wo-time “Battle of GMs” champion Rogelio Barcenilla, GM Kiril Shevchenko, WNM Jean Karen Enriquez and GM John Paul Gomez to reach the semis and keep its hopes for back-to-back titles alive.
Over in the South, all four seeded teams — No. 1 Cordova Dagami Warriors,, No. 2 Camarines Eagles, No. 3 Iloilo Kisela Knights and No. 4 Negros Kingsmen — posted similar 2-0 quarterfinal victories.
Cordova, the No. 1 team in the South at the end of the elimination round, will now battle unpredictable Negros in the No. 1 vs. No. 4 encounter.
Camarines, runner-up to Laguna in the PCAP All-Fiipino Conference, will meet Iloilo in the other semis encounter.
Camarines will be bannered by GM Mark Paragua, Ellan Asuela and Carlo Lorena, while Iloilo will be led by GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. GM Hovhannes Gobuzyan, WFM Cherry Ann Mejia and NM Cesar Mariano.