December 8, 2021

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LAPU-LAPU ELIMINATES SINOGAPORE, TO PLAY ILOILO  IN PCAP OPEN SOUTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS

CEBU CITY – There is no denying the Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors who pulled the rugs from under the fourth seed SinQGApore to advance to the South Division Semifinal round of the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Open Conference held Wednesday evening.

The Naki Warriors needed an Armageddon game before eliminating the team from Singapore and avenged its 3-8 loss to SinQGApore last October 27.

Lapu-Lapu yield the opening set 12-9 with only NM Elwin Retana, IA/FT Linky Yap and Bryle Arellano winning their respective matches in the Blitz matches. The Singaporeans continued to dominate with only NM Michael Joseph Pagaran and Bryle Arellano winning their games while Retanal and WIM Galas settled to a draw in the Rapid Matches.

The Nake Warriors, however, regrouped and made the complacent SinQGApore pay with their different approach to the game in the second set.

Galas, Yap, FM Anthony Makinano and Allan Pason won their Blitz matches while Retanal draw with his opponent GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming in Board 1 to give Lapu-Lapu a 4.5-2.5 lead.

Pagaran took over Board 1 to beat Goh to start the campaign of the Naki Warriors on a high not in the Rapid matches. Abellana, Pason and Arellano defeated their respective opponents Ashvin Sivakumar, Theresa SinggihPoh and Diajeng Ethan Xuan Rui in Board 5, 6 and 7 respective while Retanal draw with Nima Javanbakht as the Cebuano squad forged an Armageddon game after winning the second set 13.5 to 7.5.

With the momentum going on its side, Lapu-Lapu relied on the results of the Boards 2 and 3 after GM Goh took scalp over Pagaran. Arellano defeated IM Javanbakht and Pason held his ground against FM Sivakumar.

SinQGApore lost only one match in the second round of the elimination phase on October 30 to Toledo City Trojans via a cliffhanger 11-10 loss.

Lapu-Lapu is set to face GM Joey Antonio led-Iloilo Kisela Knights in the Division Semifinals on Saturday.

Iloilo eliminated Toledo City via a 2-0 decision, but the Cebuano squad forged an Armageddon game after a 10.5-to-10.5 draw in the second set of their match. The Kisela Knights prevailed 3-0.

In the other Southern Division quarterfinal games, Malaysian team Penang booted Negros Kingsmen in another thrilling match.

Negros won the first set 11-10 but Penang bounced back with a 12-9 victory in the second set to set the stage for an Armageddon match. The Malaysians though played tougher game and beat the Kingsmen 3-0 to advance to the semifinal round against eighth seed Camarines Soaring Eagles.

Camarines dropped an upset box over the South top finishers Philippine Paralympics Chess Association via 2-0 decision.

In the Northern Division, Conference top finishers Pasig City King Pirates eliminated Rizal Batch Towers 2-0, Caloocan Loadmanna Knights needed to defeat Manila Indios Bravos in two Armageddon matches to advance to the semis, Laguna Heroes booted Davao Chess Wizards after a 2-0 results and San Juan Predators were too good for Isabela Knight Raiders, 2-0. RCM