Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla pummeled GM Alexei Barsov of Uzbekistan twice to power defending champions Laguna Heroes to a 16-5-4.5 bashing of the Cagayan Kings in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup Wednesday, May 19.
Barcenilla, who carried the Heroes to PCAP’s first conference crown playing top board, dominated the 55-year-old Barsov, acquired by the Kings as an import, in their blitz and rapid games to seal their second win in three starts.
“GM Banjo was razor sharp and played big for us,” said playing co-owner Alfredo Paez.
The triumph came on the same day Laguna waylaid Isabela, 17-4, with GM John Paul Gomez, FIDE Master Efren Bagamasbad, Vince Angelo Medina and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo delivering the other critical wins.
The Heroes, who are still searching for a foreign reinforcement, are looking to repeat as champions in the country’s first professional chess league.
Meanwhile, the Manila Indios Bravos, spearheaded by GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, survived Marlon Bernardino and the Cavite Spartans, 11-10, before suffering a 6.5-14.5 loss to the Caloocan Loadmanna Knights.