MANILA, Philippines — Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla led the way in the Armageddon tiebreaker as the Laguna Heroes edged the San Juan Predators to advance to emerge the Northern champions and advance to the National Finals of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference.
Barcenilla turned back GM Oliver Barbosa that set the tone for a 3-0 sweep in the playoff tiebreaker as GM John Paul Gomez and FIDE Master Austin Jacob Literatus prevailed over FM Arden Reyes and International Master Ricky de Guzman, respectively.
"It was a total team effort," said Barcenilla, winner of the last two Olympiad qualifiers.
The Heroes were playing the Camarines Soaring Eagles at press time for the distinction of becoming the first champion of the country’s first professional league in the sport.
The Eagles likewise needed the Armageddon playoff but they have to eke out a 2-1 win over the Iloilo Kinsela Knights thanks to smashing wins by GM Mark Paragua and Ellan Asuela over GM Joey Antonio and Fritz Bryan Porras.
Karl Victor Ochoa delivered the lone win by Iloilo over Christian Mark Daluz.
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