San Juan gets back at Iloilo in Wesley So Cup

San Juan gets back at Iloilo in Wesley So Cup

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - June 18, 2021 - 9:39am

MANILA, Philippines – A measure of pride. That’s what the San Juan Predators got back even just a little bit when they defeated the Iloilo Kisela Knights, 13-8, in their inter-division match-up in the Wesley So Cup.

It’s a win for now that keeps the Knights head above water from the hard-charging Manila Indios Bravos in the Northern Division of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines.

In the last All-Filipino Conference, Iloilo defeated them to bag third place, leaving San Juan to lick its wounds and plan for the Wesley So Cup. 

And after the end of blitz play with Iloilo leading, 4-3, it seemed like the Predators will have to wait another day to get back at the Kisela Knights.

Come rapid play, San Juan quickly overcame the deficit by taking two wins and two draws to forge ahead, 9-6. In need of only two points from their final three rapid matches, San Juan got two from WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Narciso Gumila, who pulled a checkmate in his final move to get the win that gave his side a bit more cushion for their 13-8 win. 

Since the start of PCAP’s second conference, the Predators have been atop the northern division let alone among the best of the league. Like everyone else, they’ve got their eyes on the prize of this most prestigious tournament that has been sponsored by Super Grandmaster Wesley so.

For San Juan’s second match, Shariz Ngo, given the chance to play in place of Fronda, gave a good account of herself at her team took blitz chess against the Iriga Oragons, 5.5-1.5. 

The Oragons played better come rapid chess as they closed in with San Juan’s lead trimmed, 6.5-6.5. 

However, the Predators GM Viktor Moskalenko on Board 1, Ngo on Board 3, and Narquingel Reyes on Board 7 all got huge wins and the two points each to give San Juan a 14.5-6.5 win.

The two wins gave San Juan a 15-2 record. And although tied with Manila with the same win-loss record, the Predators have the tie-break as they have accrued 246 points to the Indios Bravos’ 211.

Camarines, the Southern Division leader with a similar 15-2 record have the most points with 249.5.

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