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Pasig King Pirates best Iloilo, Negros in PCAP double-header

Pasig King Pirates best Iloilo, Negros in PCAP double-header

MANILA, Philippines – What do you do when you lose a game to a top side? Go back out there and beat another top side.

Make those two. 

That’s exactly what the Rizal King Pirates did this past weekend in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corporation-Ayala Land Premier Cup.

After seeing their six-game unbeaten run ended by the Philippine Paralympics Team, 11-10, Pasig, in a confidence-booster, unhorsed the Wesley So Cup champions, Iloilo Kisela Knights, and another king from the southern division, the Negros Kingsmen.

Opening their weekend double-header, Pasig defeated Iloilo, 13-8.

In blitz play, Pasig put their two best feet forward when their twin-Grandmaster attack of Darwin Laylo and Roland Salvador against the Kisela Knights’ own GM in Joey Antonio and Karl Viktor Ochoa. 

Laylo drew with Antonio but Ochoa got the better of Salvador.

Pasig’s Sherily Cua took a point from Fiona Guirhem but Iloilo’s Cesar Mariano won the point back when he defeated Rudy Ibanez on the senior board.

Pasig’s homegrown players, Kevin Arquero and Eric Labog Jr. made sure their team won blitz as they took the big points for a slight 4-3 advantage.

Come rapid play, Laylo held Antonio once more but this time Salvador bested Ochoa to claim the full two points. With Cua once more reigning supreme, Pasig needed a win or two or even a draw on the homegrown boards for the win. Labog and Carl Espallardo supplied that as Pasig took rapid play, 9-5, for a 13-8 overall win.
 
Facing another top southern team in the second game — the Negros Kingsmen — Pasig was once more up to the task.

In blitz play, Laylo and Salvador battled Negros’ pair of Fide Masters in Nelson Mariano III and Randy Segarra, respectively.

Laylo and Mariano drew, but Salvador came away with the crucial one point. 

Pasig took the set on the strength of its senior board (Rudy Ibanez) and their homegrown studs Arquero and Labog for a 4.5-2.5 advantage. Only Negros’ AGM Rowelyn Joy Acedo and Adrian dela Cruz claimed the full point from their matches.

In need of a rally in rapid play, Mariano and Segarra drew with Laylo and Salvador. Hope was on the horizon when Acedo defeated Sherily Cua and NM Dr. Jenny Mayor split the senior board with Ibanez. 

However, Pasig’s strength in the homegrown boards —  Arquero, Labog and Gerry Nudalo — worked out as they took the cumulative six points for a 9-5 win and a 13.5-7.5 overall win.

Both wins gave Pasig a 10-1 slate — good for fourth in the packed Northern division. 

San Juan is the sole remaining undefeated team with an 11-0 slate while the Caloocan LoadManna Knights moved up to second. Although Caloocan, Laguna and Pasig have similar win-loss records, Caloocan is in second due to points won 161.5 to the 157 of both Laguna and Pasig.