GEN. TRIAS, Cavite – Michael Bibat finally quenched his thirst Friday by the ruling the ICTSI Eagle Ridge at Aoki Invitational here, edging the very same player he upstaged in his breakthrough win at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2013.
In ending a 9-year title drought, Bibat turned in a 71 to beat Tony Lasscuna by one – thanks to a key two-shot swing on the daunting No. 13 to break free from a tied matchup with his old rival.
Then he showed steely nerves in the closing holes to prevail in the P2 million championship that saw him pocket the top purse of P360,000, more than doubling his earnings when he beat Lascuña and Elmer Salvador in the 54-hole PGT Palos Verde Classic.
Bibat anchored his triumph on a third round 66 that tied him with Lascuna and Lloyd Go on his way to a seven-under 278 total.
“I had my chances, frustrated but happy that Mike won again,” said Lascuna, whose last-hole mishap gave him a 72 and a 279, which Reymon Jaraula matched with a closing 69 for joint second. Each received P186,000.
Angelo Que finished with a 70 for a share of fifth at 281 with Juvic Pagunsan, who finally put in a round expected of him, a 68 that featured six birdies.
Go faltered with a 76 and fell to ninth at 283.
Caliraya Springs leg winner zanieboy Gialon also moved into contention late but double bogeyed the par-3 17th, limping with a 73 to drop to joint sixth at 282 with Orlan Sumcad and Sean Ramos, who matched 71s.
Ruperto Zaragosa and Ira Alido also carded identical 70s and tied for 10th at 284 with Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who beat Miguel Tabuena in sudden death at Splendido and bounced back into contention with a 68-71 in the middle rounds, only to falter with a 74.