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Toledo Trojans gun for stronger finish in PCAPâs reinforced conference
Some members of the Toledo City Trojans that will be seeing action in the GM Wesley So Cup, the reinforced conference of the 1st Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) season set to start today, May 15, on lichess platform.
Manny Villaruel

Toledo Trojans gun for stronger finish in PCAP’s reinforced conference

(The Freeman) - May 15, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — With high hopes, the Toledo City Trojans aim for a much better showing in the GM Wesley So Cup, the reinforced conference of the 1st Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) season set to start today, May 15, on lichess platform.

The Trojans, owned by Engr. Mardee Gacang de la Peña and fully supported by Toledo LGU headed by mayor Joie Perales, are among the four Cebu teams seeing action in the country’s first pro chess league. The others are the Cebu City Machers, Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors, and Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors.

In the previous All-Filipino Conference, the Trojans reached the playoffs as fifth seed and even made it to the Southern Division semifinals after booting out the fourth-ranked  Zamboanga Sultans. Their finals bid, however, was swatted away by the formidable Iloilo Kisela Knights.

Now reinforced by the France-based Iranian Grandmaster Amir Bagheri, the Trojans are highly optimistic that they would be able to come up with a stronger finish in the virtual tournament that offers over P300,000 in prize fund.

“I’m confident that our standings will be improved this time because we have already adjusted with our lineup,” said team captain Bonn Rainauld Tibod.

And the 42-year-old Bagheri, who saw action for Iran national team in the pretigious Chess Olympiad three times in 1998, 2000 and 2008, will surely play a key roke in their quest for top honors.

“Our pressure will be lessened because we now have a legitimate Board 1 player. We in the lower boards will just have to do our part and trust each other to contribute something for the team,” said Rogelio Enriquez Jr., one of Toledo’s top bets.

International Master Rico Mascariñas chimed in, “We have big expectations because we have an import who will carry us in the top board. Also, we are reshuffling our players depending on how strong our opponents are. We have the quarterfinals already in our sight but hopefully we could make it all the way to the finals. That’s our target.”

With playing co-team owner Atty. Jeah Jean Gacang and team manager Felix Poloyapoy, Jr. still on board, the Trojans are all set and ready to scale greater heights in the PCAP tilt that features the crème de la crème in Philippine chess.

Completing the roster of the Toledo Trojans, who are also backed up by John Signe of Xignex Digital Solutions,  are the Ganzon brothers Ronald and Rommel, Richard Natividad, Glicerio Pardillo Jr., Christopher Tubalado, and Jinky Catulay. — EBV

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