Pasig repulses San Juan in PCAP 3rd conference opener

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Pasig repulses San Juan in PCAP 3rd conference opener
The San Juan Predators (left) versus the Pasig King Pirates (right) in action in PCAP's first over-the-board chess Saturday, Sept. 24 at Estancia Mall in Pasig.
Courtesy of Rick Olivares

MANILA, Philippines — If many of the players in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines were gushing about the classy opening of the Open Conference at the Estancia Mall, for others it was a playoff-like atmosphere at the start of the over-the-board competition Saturday.

Northern division rivals and title favorites Pasig King Pirates and San Juan Predators clashed in an early preview of the group showdown with the former prevailing 11.5-9.5.

In over-the-board competition, both teams were deadlocked 7.5-all after blitz and rapid play and it came down to the last three boards in the latter.

Ironically, it involved San Juan’s three new additions in IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Jem Garcia, and WNM Arvie Lozano going up against Pasig’s GM Mark Paragua, IM Idelfonso Datu Jr., and WFM Sherily Cua on online chess, as the action was done in a hybrid setup.

Paragua and Cua took the win against Garcia’s two points.

“Championship atmosphere,” was how Pasig head coach Franco Camillo described the match. “Basta San Juan kalaban, kailangan you have to be your best. At malakas line-up nila. Mas balance.”

“Iba talaga yung over-the-board chess,” added Pasig’s senior player, IM Cris Ramayrat. “Walang excuses na mouse slip, mahina internet, at cheating, chess lang talaga.”

The King Pirates, who have been tugging at San Juan’s cape since the open conference of the first PCAP season, finally defeated the Predators in the division finals of the recently-concluded Wesley So Cup. 

The win snapped San Juan’s two consecutive conference championship runs. Pasig then beat back Iloilo to win their first PCAP title.

In San Juan’s first match of the day, they turned back Olongapo Team 7.


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