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Pasig King Pirates motivated to be champions

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Pasig King Pirates motivated to be champions

MANILA, Philippines – Heading into the Wesley So Cup of the second season of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, the Pasig King Pirates are moving on from their two spectacular crashes in the last two conferences. 

In two conferences — the Reinforced Conference of last season and this year’s All-Filipino Cup — Pasig had the league’s best record. But each time, they crumbled in the playoffs; albeit they went one notch higher.

In the Reinforced Conference, they were stunned by the Caloocan LoadManna Knights in the semifinals, and in this past tournament, they were mauled in the conference finals by a vengeful San Juan Predators, who eventually emerged as champions.

“We’ve had chances to be a champion in these past two conferences,” pointed out Pasig head coach Franco Camillo. “We were the number one team during the elimination phase but we were unable to get to the finals after losing in the playoffs.”

“We're evaluating it (the losses),” simply put the coach, who said he has put the disappointment behind him. “We know where we need more improvement and adjustment. We need all our players to fight up to the end.”

Heading into the playoffs, Pasig’s star homegrown player Kevin Arquero warned against the plaudits heaped on them for what was a recording-breaking elimination round phase. “Wala pa kami na-achieve,” he admitted. “Iba ang labanan at pressure ng playoffs.”

However, the King Pirates are focused on the Wesley So Cup.

“We will adjust in this Wesley So Cup and hope that we can win a championship in any of the remaining two conferences of the year,” he added. 

Pasig is bringing back Singaporean Grandmaster Kevin Goh Wei Ming as their import. His addition is impressive as the King Pirates will throw three Grandmasters into the fray at any given time along with incumbent players Darwin Laylo and Mark Paragua.

This Wesley So Cup will be GM Goh’s third appearance in PCAP having played for Pasig in last year’s second conference and in the third conference with the Singaporean guest squad.

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