Wack Wack surges past Orchard, leads by 1

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2015 - 12:00am

DANAO CITY, Philippines – Wack Wack, a team supposed to vie in the lower Founders Division, showed it is competitive enough to contend for the premier Championship bracket of the 68th Philippine Airlines Men’s Interclub tournament.

After emerging as a surprise challenger in the opening round, Wack Wack took the lead halfway through the championship, posting a solid 117 points at the Club Filipino de Cebu yesterday for a 241 tally and moving past erstwhile leader and defending champion Orchard, which limped with a 111 for the day for a 240 aggregate.

Sammy Sy and Elphege Wong carded 32 and 31, respectively, as the Mandaluyong based-squad grabbed the upperhand in a looming four-way battle to the finish with Manila Southwoods and resurgent Cebu Country Club lurking just behind at 239 and 237, respectively.

Kit Lopez and Ernesto Marcelo added 27 points apiece for Wack Wack, which was originally formed for the Founders play but was elevated to the centerpiece competition due to the members’ combined PAL Points Average (PPA).

“We never expected to be leading but we will embrace this and face the challenge,” said Wack Wack skipper Wong.

Wong, who also submitted a 31 in Round One at Cebu CC, and Sy, their top scorer with 33-32 outputs, have wrapped up their playing stints and will yield the floor to their teammates when the field tackles the Club Filipino course again today for the pivotal penultimate round.

Orchard, which opened with a five-point lead Wednesday, lost precious points as it struggled in the ravine-laden, up-and-down Danao layout.

Veteran Rodel Mangulabnan saved the day for back-to-back-seeking Orchard as he turned in a 31 in the team’s final card to put them back in the thick of things. Before Mangulabnan signed his card, the Cavite-based crew struggled with only Stephen King Stehmeier submitting the other 31 and Peter Paul Salvador and Nicholas Santiano turning in 27 and 22, respectively. Eric Borromeo didn’t count with a 17.

Southwoods stayed within striking distance as it pooled a 119 behind Joseph Tambunting’s 32, Vince Lauron’s 31, Jets Sajulga’s 29 and Jun Nestor Plana’s 27.

Cebu CC also made its move as it bounced back from a mediocre 111 in their home turf with a hot 126 built around Mark Dy’s 36. Bayani Garcia (31), Eric Deen (30) and Marko Sarmiento (29) provided strong support to put the host club back into contention.

From 18 down on Day One, the Cebu CC boys crept to back to just four points off the pace.

The PAL Interclub is sponsored by Hotel H20, Travelife, Boeing International Corp., Business Mirror and GE Aviation. Other backers include Manila Bulletin, Mareco Broadcasting Network (Crossover), People Asia Magazine, Whealth Inc., Aerospace, Uniglobe Travelware Co. Inc., Tanduay Distillers and Intercontinental Manila.

Vying in the Founders division, Alabang Country Club later joined the chase for the overall crown as it scored 121 to hike its aggregate to 239, in a tie with Southwoods.

Liam Patrick Cully and Philippe Palanca came through with similar 33s while Julio Daniel Roa contributed 31 and Arnel Paras added 24 as Alabang took a seven-point buffer versus Tagaytay Highlands (232 after a 112).

Valley Golf (225 after a 109) took third position ahead of Alta Vista (219 after a105) and Round One leader Villamor, which coughed up a woeful 97 for 218 overall.


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