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GM Barbosa: Not for redemption but to get better

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
GM Barbosa: Not for redemption but to get better
GM Oliver Barbosa
Photo from Barbosa's Twitter (@vroeli)

MANILA, Philippines – For Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa, he doesn’t look at his PCAP team — the San Juan Predators – and their booking a finals slot in the Wesley So Cup as a sign of redemption.

“I stand by what I said last conference (the inaugural All-Filipino Cup), that we always have to strive to get better,” said the chess Grandmaster. 

The Predators have bettered their 30-4 records from the All Filipino and their fourth place finish to a 31-3 league-best and a chance to finish first or second.

While the goal is to win the Wesley So Cup, Barbosa knows that records don’t mean anything at this point. His team needs to be better because facing them are the tough, talented, and calculating Iloilo Kisela Knights.

Not to mention hungrier.

“This Wesley So Cup, teams and players have improved their line-ups and games,” noted Barbosa. “And I can say that this conference (we took it upon ourselves) to be hungrier with everyone striving to be their best.

“We have gotten huge support from our team owner, managers and co-players. Our import (Spanish GM Viktor Moskalenko) blended well with the team. You can see that wherever he plays, he is fine. Even better, he doesn’t go down without a fight.”

“We have teams on our ‘watch list’ but you cannot take anyone lightly,” said Barbosa. “Everyone is a threat.”

Now there is the last threat of the Kisela Knights. 

“We are not taking them lightly and we will not relax,” stressed the GM. “They are a strong team with three GMs in their line-up. Their GM imports are strong 2600 GMs and (Hovhannes) Gabuzyan is a World Cup qualifier. Even without their imports, their team is one of the strongest. We will not go unprepared. We will definitely give it our best shot.”

“Pareho na kami champions in our divisions and Iloilo is just as hungry to win the Grand Finals. Congrats to both teams and good luck to both of us.”

The Grand Finals of the Wesley So Cup is at 7 p.m. tonight.

CHESS
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