Van der Valk, Gialon marked men at Riviera

The Philippine Star
Van der Valk, Gialon marked men at Riviera
Zanieboy Gialon.

MANILA, Philippines — With two of the winners of the first four legs of this year’s Philippine Golf Tour out due to various reasons, Zanieboy Gialon and Guido Van der Valk go all out for a second crack at PGT glory in the ICTSI Riviera Championship unfolding on Tuesday at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite.

Gialon posted a runaway victory in Caliraya Springs’ first hosting of a PGT leg last April while Van der Valk pulled off a stirring come-from-behind win to defeat Luisita stage winner Miguel Tabuena in sudden death at Splendido Taal last May.

But despite the absence of Tabuena, who is set to resume his campaign abroad, and recent Eagle Ridge-Aoki leg champion Michael Bibat, who is sidelined by back spasm after a gym workout last week, Gialon and Van der Valk still face an uphill battle in pursuit of another crown in the P2 million championship put up by ICTSI.

With the likes of multi-titled Juvic Pagunsan, Angelo Que, Tony Lascuña, Clyde Mondilla, Jhonnel Ababa, along with young guns Ira Alido, Sean Ramos, Ivan Monsalve and Rupert Zaragosa all geared up for the title chase, Gialon and Van der Valk have a lot of fine-tuning to do to fuel another title drive, foil the charge of the other fancied bets and emerge as the first “double” champion heading to the season’s final leg at Pradera Verde on Oct. 25-28.

“I didn’t play consistently at Eagle Ridge, but hopefully, with a little luck, I get the chance to prove myself again next week,” said Gialon, who tied for sixth at Aoki spiked by 67 and 69 but marred by a couple of 73s.

Bibat also struggled a bit at Eagle Ridge but played steady enough in the stretch to outlast Lascuña and hold off Jaraula and break a nine-year title spell with a one-stroke escape last July.

“Really felt bad for not being able to play this week. I’ve been preparing to score a follow-up to my win at Eagle Ridge but got injured. My therapy session runs till next week, so hopefully, I’ll be able to suit up for Pradera Verde,” said Bibat.

Still, the Riviera cast remains as talent-laden as ever, guaranteeing a fierce, wild chase for the crown.


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