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Caloocan takes 'Battle of Knights' in Wesley So Cup

Caloocan takes 'Battle of Knights' in Wesley So Cup

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - June 14, 2021 - 9:41am

MANILA, Philippines – The Wesley So Cup isn’t big enough for two teams of knights.

The Caloocan LoadManna Knights toppled the Iloilo Kisela Knights, 11-10, in the inter-division play in the Wesley So Cup, a payback of sorts for the former by stopping the latter’s win streak in the last conference, the All-Filipino Cup.

During the last Conference, the LoadManna Knights were riding high on their 1st round 11-0 record when they met the Kisela Knights at the start of second round last February 6. Iloilo took the tussle, 11.5-9.5, and dealt the LoadManna Knights their first setback.

While Iloilo had struggled to get out of the gate in this Wesley So Cup, they remain formidable and headed into this match-up with Caloocan at 10-3 and had a four-match win streak.

Caloocan started the assault in blitz chess with the wins coming from Arvie Lozano, Jimmy Liew and Glenn Lemen and draws from IM Paulo Bersamina and FM Nelson Villanueva for a 4-3 score.

In the rapid games, LoadManna Knights were able hold off an attempt by the Kisela Knights to wrest the game by holding the latter to a 7-7 score. IM Paulo Bersamina and IM Jem Garcia held both of Iloilo’s Grandmasters in Kirill Dragun and Joey Antonio respectively to a draw.

The Kisela Knights looked like they were going to salvage a win in rapid play when they won on Boards 3 and 6. However, wins by Caloocan import IM Jimmy Liew on Board 4 and FM Nelson Villanueva on Board 7, and a draw by Paul Sanchez on Board 5 to even the score (7-7) ensured the 11-10 victory for the LoadManna Knights.

In their second match of the Philippine Independence Day doubleheader, Caloocan’s IM Barlo Nadera led the attack as the LoadManna Knights drubbed Iriga Oragons, 18.5-2.5, to improve their record to 11-4; the same record of Iloilo over at the Southern Division. 

The Kisela Knights salvaged the day with a win in the second game of the double offering by knocking down rising Northern Division team, Antipolo, 12.5-8.5.

With the huge wins that put Caloocan at fourth spot in the Northern Division, Engr. Bong Velasco, the CEO and president of LoadManna Inc., immediately sent his congratulatory message to Team Manager Arnel Batungbakal and thanked the players for their resilience, grit and will to win.

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