MANILA, Philippines – Chess Grandmaster Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. was named the All-Filipino Cup Jessie Villasin Finals Most Valuable Player of the recently concluded All-Filipino Cup Finals of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines during its All-Star game program last Sunday.
Barcenilla led the Laguna Heroes to the title after a hard-fought series against the Camarines Soaring Eagles. According to PCAP Chairman Michael Chua, Barcenilla garnered the award after leading all players on percentage points.
International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia of the Caloocan LoadManna Knights made it a one-two sweep for the Special Awards by northern division teams when he was named the RiChess Masters Best Player of the Conference.
“Nag-attend lang ako ng All-Star Game proceedings iniisip ko lang na may trophy ang Laguna,” said a surprised Barcenilla. “Hindi ko akalain na meron pa tayong award. Siyempre, nagpapasalamat tayo sa lahat para sa award pero para sa Laguna rin ito.”
Added Barcenilla, “I am very happy and thankful that all my hard work and sacrifices paid off and I was able to help our team be the first ever PCAP champion.”
Garcia himself was just as surprised when his name was called out. “Nakakagulat,” was all he could say.
“Both are deserving winners,” noted Elauria. “Barcenilla is the reigning Philippine champion while Garcia is a long time national team member and is a strong candidate from Grandmaster status.”
The Finals Award was named after PCAP’s Stateside supporter businessman Jessie Villasin while RiChess is the company that sponsors the Cordova Warriors.
Added Elauria of Villasin, “Sir Jessie trusted PCAP when he didn’t know much about it. He liked the idea even if he didn’t know the personalities.”
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