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Sweet sweep by San Juan Predators


SAN Juan Predators made history in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) by completing the first perfect game with a smashing 21-0 rout of the Isabela Knight Raiders late Saturday.

GM Oliver Barbosa, FM Narquinden Reyes, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, IM Ricardo de Guzman, NM Michael Gotel, Narquingel Reyes and Narciso Gumila provided the victories for San Juan in both blitz and rapid chess competitions in this prestigious, 24-team tournament organized by PCAP and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Barbosa defeated Alvin Aguinaldo, Reyes outwitted Gerard Cabellon, Fronda whipped Sheryl Andes Bordon, De Guzman outplayed Francisco Cabe, Gotel overwhelmed Anwar Cabugatan, Reyes bested Lordwin Espiritu and Gumila outclassed Renan Rabago in the Predators’ most impressive performance so far.

It was the first 21-0 sweep in PCAP, the country’s first-ever professional chess league managed by Atty. Paul Elauria as president and Michael Angelo Ong Chua as chairman.

We did not really expect the 21-0 result (against Isabela). But the players are really motivated to always play their best for the team,” said San Juan coach Hubert Estrella.

Coupled with another easy 15-6 victory over the Cavite Spartans later in the night, San Juan tightened its grip on the lead with a 25-4 win-loss record and an overall score of 429 points.

Tied with San Juan for the lead with the same record are Laguna, who demolished Olongapo Rainbow, 17-4, and Pasig Pirates, 17-4; and Caloocan Load Manna Knights, which humbled Cavite Spartans, 13.5-7.5; and Olongapo Rainbow, 13.5-7.5.

Overall, Laguna is second with 414.5 points, followed by Caloocan with 387.5 points.

Manila Indios Bravos,15-6 winner over Cagayan Kings and 18.5-2.5 victor over Isabela, stayed in fourth place with 22-7 slate, while Rizal Towers, 11.5-9.5 winner over Pasig and 13.5-7.5 victor Antipolo Cobras, remain in fifth place with 19-10 mark in the Northern Conference.

In the Southern Conference, Iloilo Kisela Knights completed another double victory over Lapu-Lapu, 18-3, and Negros Kingsmen, 16.5-4.5, to keep the lead with 25-4 win-loss record and 429 points.

Camarines Soaring Eagles downed Palawan Queen’s Gambits, 16-5, and Toledo City Trojans, 14.5-6.6, for a similar 25-4 record and 408 points,.

Negros overpowered Cebu City Machers, 17-4, to remain in the hunt with 25-4 slate and 407.5 points.

The top eight teams after the eliminations will advance to the quarterfinal round on March 24.

After 29 rounds
San Juan 25 4
Laguna 25 4
Caloocan 25 4
Manila 22 7
Rizal 19 10
Pasig 14 15
Cavite 14 15
Antipolo 13 16
Isabela 9 20
Olongapo 9 20
Cagayan 5 24
Quezon City 4 25
Iloilo 25 4
Camarines 25 4
Negros 25 4
Zamboanga 16 13
Toledo 16 13
Lapu-Lapu 14 15
Mindoro 13 16
Cordova 10 19
Surigao 7 22
Cebu 6 23
Iriga 4 25
Palawan 3 26