Cebu bets brace for final elimination stage in PCAP tilt

(The Freeman) - March 3, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebuano contenders Toledo Trojans, Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors, Cordova Dagami Dutchess Warriors, and Cebu City Machers will move their respective campaigns into a higher gear as the third and final stage of elimination round in the inaugural Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) online tournament gets underway today via lichess platform.

The Trojans, the highest ranked among Cebu’s bets at joint fourth and fifth place with the Zamboanga Sultans in the Southern Conference standings on identical 13-9 win-loss records, will go up against the Machers in an all-Cebuano showdown at 7 p.m., and then take on the formidable Iloilo Kisela Knights in the 9 p.m. nightcap.

While they are tipped to have easy time against the Machers (5-18), the IM Rico Mascariñas and NMs Rommel Ganzon and Rogelio Enriquez, Jr.-led Trojans face an uphill battle against the powerhouse Kisela Knights powered by GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., NMs Cesar Mariano, John Michael Silvederio, Giovanni Mejia, and Fritz Byran Porras, and CFM Cherry Ann Mejia.

The Kisela Knights currently share the second and third spots in the South bracket with the GM Mark Paragua-bannered Camarines Soaring Eagles with similar 19-4 slates.

The other Cebu squads also also up for back-to-back games tonight.

The Naki Warriors will battle the Mindoro Tamaraws and the Palawan Queen’s Gambit, the country’s first all-women’s pro chess team, the Dagami Warriors will have their hands full against the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates and the Iriga Oragons, while the Machers will clash with the Sultans after tackling the Trojans.

As of now,  the NM Merben Roque-led Lapu-Lapu is at solo sixth place with an 11-12 mark, Cordova, spearheaded by  NMs Edsel Montoya and Mario Mangubat, stayed at eighth with a 7-16 card, while the NM Elwin Retanal and FM Anthony Makinano-manned Cebu City is at 10th with only five victories so far in 23 matches. — EBV

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