Laguna Heroes topple Rizal, San Juan for share of lead in PCAP chess

Published March 4, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Laguna Heroes downed the Rizal Batch Towers and San Juan City Predators to share the Northern Conference lead with Caloocan going into the final stretch of the regular season of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference Wednesday night, March 3.

Spearheaded by Grandmasters Banjo Barcenilla and John Paul Gomez, the Heroes dumped the Batch Towers, 13.5-7.5, and then got back at the Predators with a come-from-behind 11-10 win.

The pair of victories catapulted the Heroes to the top of the Northern Conference alongside the Loadmanna Knights with identical 22-3 win-loss records.

San Juan fell to No. 3 with a 21-4 mark.

Vince Angelo Medina, Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo and Arjie Bayangat delivered the decisive wins for Laguna against Michael Gotel, Narquingel Reyes and Narciso Gumila on the lower boards to help turn the tables on San Juan.

San Juan actually took a 4-3 lead after the blitz battle on wins by GM Oliver Barbosa, International Master Ricky de Guzman and Gumila against Gomez, FIDE Master Efren Bagamasbad and Bayangat on boards one, four and seven, but Laguna found a way to turn the tide in its favor.

There will be nine more games left before the playoffs start and Laguna is hoping it could keep its grip of the lead.

The Heroes would have that chance as they play the Loadmanna Knights and the Cavite Spartans (13-12) on Saturday, March 6.