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IM Mariano, FM Castellano beef up SJ Predators in PCAP chess tourney

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
IM Mariano, FM Castellano beef up SJ Predators in PCAP chess tourney

MANILA, Philippines – The rearming season has begun. The 24 teams of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines are beefing up their lineups for the second season haul.

The San Juan Predators, winners of the Open Conference of the inaugural season of PCAP, are among those who have boosted their squad.

With a strong team already brimming with talent such as Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa, IM Rolando Nolte, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, IM Ricky de Guzman and FM Arden Reyes, San Juan added FM Nelson Mariano III from the Negros Kingsmen and FM Chris Castellano.

“We weren’t able to draft anyone because the other teams selected the players we wanted,” revealed Predators coach Hubert Estrella. “And the other players we wanted had committed to other teams.”

“We began our preparations almost as soon as the third conference of last year ended. We built around our core of GM Oliver, WIM Jodilyn who is the reigning national women’s champion, and IM Ricky who was consistently one of the best players last season. We also have a good team and players who can fill in the gaps. But of course, with every team getting better, especially Pasig, we have to prepare for them.”

‘We think flexibility in our lineup will help,” added team owner Michael Chua. “If you keep playing with the same players and in the same order, teams can develop strategies against you. And it is a long season.”

The All-Filipino Cup of the second PCAP season begins Saturday, January 22, with the San Juan Predators taking on the Caloocan LoadManna Knights and the defending All-Filipino Cup champions Laguna Heroes battling Olongapo.

CHESS

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