Despite the absence of Grandmaster Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. and Grandmaster John Paul Gomez, the Laguna Heroes thwarted the Olongapo Rainbow Team 7, 13-8, to serve notice of their title bid at the start of 2nd season of Professional Chess Association of the Philippines online chess tournament virtually held at Chess.com Platform Saturday night, January 22, 2022.
Powered by Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus, Michella Concio, Fide Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad, Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo, Richie Jocson and Apollo Agapay beat their opponents from boards 1, 3 to 7 in the blitz portion to underscore the depth of the Laguna, backed up by KALARO, Greatech Philippines, Inc., SDC Global Choice, Jolly Smile Dental Clinic and Rotary Club of Nuvali.
Literatus defeated Nelson Busa on board 1, Concio trounced Angel Mae Orijuela on board 3, Bagamasbad won by default over Adriano Valenzuela on board 4, Lorenzo toppled National Master Gefer Imbuido on board 5, Jocson nipped National Master Kim Kenneth Santos on board 6 and Agapay smashed Lou Anton Rivera on board 7.
However, Laguna failed a possible shut out wins over Olongapo in the bitz event after board 2 player Vince Angelo Medina lost by default against Gil Conrad Corre.
"Almost every team has tremendously improved for the 2nd PCAP season. Laguna Heroes expect to have a lot of tough matches. We are happy that we won against Olongapo in the opening match." said Arena Grandmaster Dr. Fred Paez, one of the four co-team owner of the Laguna Heroes that include Mr. David Nithyananthan of KALARO, Engr. Benjamin Dy of SDC Global Choice and Engr. Jonathan Mamaril of Oregon, USA.
In the rapid games, Laguna and Olongapo ended into a 7-all deadlock.
Concio, Bagamasbad and Jocson are leading the way for Laguna after beating Orijuela, Valenzuela and Corre on board 3, 4 and 6 while Agapay halving the point with Rivera on board 7.
Olongapo fought the good fight with the big wins of Fide Master Rustum Tolentino, Busa and Imbuido on board 1, 2 and 5 against Laguna's Literatus, Medina and Lorenzo.
In other matches saw in the Northern division, defending champion San Juan whipped Caloocan, 12.5-8.5, Cagayan outpointed Rizal, 16.5-4.5, Quezon City dealt Cavite, 17.5-3.5, Pasig subdued Isabela, 12.5-8.5, and Manila edged Mindoro.
In the Southern division, Zamboanga prevailed over Cagayan de Oro, 14-7, Camarines past Toledo, 12-9, Davao smashed Surigao, 18-3, Negros clobbered Iriga, 13.5-7.5 and Iloilo waylaid Palawan, 11.5-7.5.
The game between Cebu and Tacloban was re schedule.-Marlon Bernardino- (end it)
Photo shows Laguna Heroes top player 2-time Asian Junior Champion Grandmaster Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla Jr. (photo from fb account of Rogelio Barcenilla Jr.)