THE Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) sees a bright future in chess with more exciting games in the coming PCAP All-Star Game on May 2 and the GM Wesley So Cup-Second Conference starting May 15.
The All-Star Game will showcase 46 of the league’s top players — 23 each in the North and South divisions, while the GM Wesley So Cup will feature foreign players in each of the 24 member-teams.
“As we all know, these are exciting times for PCAP and chess as a whole. We’re growing bigger and better,” said PCAP Chairman Michael Angelo Chua during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom yesterday.
Chua said the best and the brightest players in the country, led by GMs Darwin Laylo of the Pasig Pirates and Mark Paragua of Camarines ÷agles will lead the cast in the one-day All-Star extravaganza.
“The best players are playing, so we’re already excited to watch the games,” added Chua during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
Laylo and Paragua emerged as the top vote-getters during the 10-day voting participated in by fans on the PCAP social media page.
As announced by Chua, the first seven players were voted by fans, while the rest of the team members were voted by the team owners and players themselves.
The complete line-ups:
Top-rated players — GM Darwin Laylo (Pasig Pirates), GM Roland Salvador (Pasig Pirates), GM Eugene Torre (Rizal Towers), GM Rogelio Barcenila, Jr. (Laguna Heroes), GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (Manila Indios Bravos), Oliver Barbosa (San Juan Predators), Austin Jacob Literatus (Laguna Heroes), IM Paulo Bersamina (Caloocan Load Manna Knights), IM Rolando Nolte (Rizal Towers) and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia (Caloocan Load Manna Knights).
Female — Shercila Cua (Pasig Pirates), Jan Jodilyn Fronda (San Juan), Michael Concio (Quezon City Simba’s Tribe) and Karen Jean Enriquez (Laguna Heroes).
Senior — Rudy Ibanez (Pasig Pirates), Ricardo de Guzman (San Juan Predators), Cris Ramayrat (Manila Indios Bravos).
Homegrown — Cromwell Sabado (Pasig Pirates), Ferdinand Palermo (Pasig Pirates), John Paul Gomez (Laguna Heroes), Genghis Imperial (Manila Indios Bravos), Deniel Causo (Manila Indios Bravos) and Mari Joseph Turqueza (Manila Indios Bravos).
Top-rated — Mark Paragua (Camarines Eagles), Rogelio Antonio, Jr. (Iloilo Kisela Knights), Ellan Asuela (Camarines Eagles), Nelson Mariano III (Negros Kingsmen), Merben Roque (Cordova Dagami Warriors), Chito Garma (Zamboanga Sultans), Erwin Retanal (Cebu Machers), Randy Segarra (Negros Kingsmen), Catherine Perena-Secopito (Palawan Queen’s Gambits) and Vince Alaan (Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates).
Female — Cherry Ann Mejia (Iloilo KIsela Knights), Bernadette Galas (Cordova Dagami Warriors), Rowelyn Joy Acedo (Negros Kingsmen).
Senior — Carlo Lorena (Camarines Eagles), Mario Mangubat (Cordova Dagami Warriors), Rico Mascarinas (Toledo City Trojans).
Homegown — Ronald Llavanes (Camarines Eagles), Virgen Gil Ruaya (Camarines Eagles), Joel Pimentel (Negros Kingsmen), Zulfikar Sali (Zamboang Sultans), Jason Badal (Negros Kingsmen), Ariel Potot (Cordova Dagami Warriors) and Mikee Charlene Suede (Palawan Queen’s Gambits).
Dr. Fred Paez of Laguna will coach the North All Stars, while Joel Buenaventur will handle the South All Stars.
Both Paragua and Potot admitted the North All Stars have the edge with seven GMs in the line-up.
But the South All Stars hope to pull off some surprises come game day.
“It will be a good battle,” said Paragua.