Iloilo, Pasig clash in Wesley So Cup Grand Finals

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Iloilo, Pasig clash in Wesley So Cup Grand Finals
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MANILA, Philippines — Legacy or destiny?

That is the story Saturday night when the Iloilo Kisela Knights take on the Pasig King Pirates in the grand finals of the Wesley So Cup — the second of three annual conferences by the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).

Iloilo is bidding to become the first repeat champion in PCAP while Pasig, long denied its place at the table of champions, looks to annex their first title.

The Kisela Knights have looked imperious in the lead-up to the play-offs. Pasig on the other hand have chugged along and dueled Caloocan for the best record of the north all conference long.

Both had their brushes with mortality in the play-offs, but when push came to shove, they booted out their closest pursuers. And now, it’s time for one team to fulfill their destiny.

It would be easy to declare Iloilo as the prohibitive favorites. After all, they brought back their crew from their title-winning squad last year with GM Hovhanes Gabuzyan and GM Joey Antonio, Karl Viktor Ochoa, Cherry Ann Meija, NM Fritz Porras, and NM John Michael Silvederio while adding NM Rolly Parondo Jr.

Pasig has done quite well for themselves with a next-man-up mentality with IM Ildefonso Datu capably filling on the top board in spite of missing GM Mark Paragua (who is competing in the 44th Chess Olympiad). 

GM Mungkal Gombosuren — a returning import — also picked up the baton from GM Kevon Goh who is also in the Chess Olympiad.

WIM Sherily Cua, IM Cris Ramayrat Jr., Kevin Arquero, Jerome Villanueva, IM Eric and Marc Labog have been the steadiest crew in PCAP.

However, if their match-ups since the start of PCAP are any indication, they are pretty much even.

Here is how they fared in all five match-ups during inter-division play dating back to the first year of PCAP.

Season 1

11.5-9.5 All Filipino in favor of Iloilo
11. 15.5-5.5 Wesley So Cup in favor of Iloilo
13-8 Open Conference in favor of Pasig

Season 2

14-7 All-Filipino in favor of Pasig
11.5-9.5 in favor of Iloilo

And now, they will figure in the grand finals. If their previous match ups are anything to base off from, chess fans will be treated to some intense board play tonight.

The Grand Finals of PCAP’s Wesley So Cup can be streamed via the league’s Facebook page as well as the respective pages of Iloilo and Pasig.


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