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Caloocan drops Pasig, San Juan for PCAP north lead

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Caloocan drops Pasig, San Juan for PCAP north lead
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via istock

MANILA, Philippines — Saturday was a test for the Caloocan LoadManna Knights.

Caloocan, playing all-Filipino in the import-spiced Wesley So Cup, defeated the Pasig King Pirates, 2-1, in Armageddon, then piped the San Juan Predators in the nightcap, 11.5-9.5, to vault to the top of the northern division of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines with a 5-0 record.

This is the best start ever to any PCAP conference in the history of the Caloocan LoadManna Knights.

In the first match against erstwhile northern division Pasig, Caloocan gained crucial points with IM Jem Garcia taking all three points against Pasig’s Singaporean GM Kevin Goh on Board 2. 

New addition IM Chito Garma, who the Caloocan players refer to as “their lucky charm”, also gave a good account of himself on both blitz and rapid chess against IM Cris Ramayrat Jr. 

Those strong performances saw both teams tied after blitz (3.5-all) and rapid chess (7-all) to go into Armageddon.

In extra boards, Garcia’s top board partner, IM Paulo Bersamina, who was shellacked by Pasig’s GM Mark Paragua in both blitz and rapid play, came roaring back with a win over the former. 

Garcia defeated IM Ildefonso Datu to give Caloocan a huge 2-1 win.

That propelled them into their second game where they rallied from a 4.5-2.5 deficit after blitz chess to take a 9-5 win in rapid for an overall 11.5-9.5 win.

The crucial two points came from Bersamina who defeated GM Oliver Barbosa.

Caloocan is expected to finally parade their import at the next PCAP-Wesley So Cup playdate on Wednesday, June 1.

CHESS

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