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Malaysia arranges South finals clash with Iloilo in PCAP

Malaysia arranges South finals clash with Iloilo in PCAP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Paralympic Team is out. SinQGApore from Singapore has been booted out. The Chess Wizards from Davao were one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs.

Now all three guest teams in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corporation-Ayala Land Premier Cup are out.

The last guest team standing is the one team no one expected — the Penang Blue Panthers from Malaysia. And they are on their way to the final of the Southern Division. 

Penang ousted the Camarines Soaring Eagles, 2-1, in Armageddon for the first set after a 10.5-all draw, and 13-8 in the second set to set up a tantalizing finals match-up with the Iloilo Kisela Knights.

Iloilo likewise sent the Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors tumbling out of the competition with their own two-set win, 13.5-7.5, and 12-9.

The Malaysians were able to hold back the come backing GM Mark Paragua, who inspired the Soaring Eagles to victory against the Paralympians in the semifinals last Wednesday.

In this battle, FM Wong Yinn Long got the better of Paragua, taking three of the four points available in blitz, rapid and Armageddon play.

Despite Camarines’ Board 1 stalled at the hands of Wong, the rest of the Soaring Eagles took blitz play of the first set, 4.2-2.5.

Penang came back strong in rapid chess, 8-6, then [prevailed in Armageddon, 2-1 with Wong’s win over Paragua, and NM Evan Capel turning back Ellan Asuela. Virgen Gil Ruaya prevented the Soaring Eagles from being shut out with a win over IM Ooi Zhi Yang.

In the second set, Camarines was strong once more in blitz play, 5-2. 

Strangely, Penang switched Wong on Board 2 to take on Asuela. Although Wong took two of the three points in play, Capel’s moving to Board 1 against Paragua saw him claim one of the three points. 

Penang’s win in rapid play from Boards 2 to 5 spelled the difference as the Malaysians advanced to the second to the last stage of the competition.

Iloilo, on the other hand, has been steady with GM Joey Antonio on Board one winning all his games. 

The Kisela Knights took both the blitz and rapid play from both sets to claim victory. 

The Southern Division finals will be played on Wednesday.