Following a blowout victory against Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors in the Southern Division semis of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) San Miguel Corporation-Ayala Land Cup, Iloilo Kisela Knights vows to prepare and take every opportunity in the finals match against Penang, Malaysia.
During the two-leg division semis, the Iloilo-based professional chess team easily eliminated Lapu-Lapu, 2-0.
The Leo Sotaridona-owned team cruised to a 13.5-7.5 victory over the Naki Warriors in the first leg, thanks to GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (Board 1), Cherry Ann Mejia (Board 3), Cesar Mariano (Board 4), and Fritz Bryan Porras (Board 7) and a draw by John Michael Silvederio (Board 5).
In the rapid event, the Kisela Knights successfully contributed two-pointers each from Antonio, Cesar Mariano, Mark Jossel Mariano (Board 6) and Porras and a point from Karl Victor Ochoa (Board 2).
IKK had a tough match in the second round after Lapu-Lapu a slim 4-3 margin in the blitz game and an 8-6 triumph in the rapid game. However, Antonio, Cesar Mariano and Silvederio were the only players to garner full one point for the Kisela Knights in the second leg’s blitz event, while Ochoa and Mejia halved points with their foes.
For Sotaridona, he said they cannot take lightly the Malaysian team and they need to prepare more and take every opportunity to conserve and use all their energy during the game.
"It is a team effort to become a champ so seek out for help if you need one to prepare. The road ahead is rough and hilly but we have been on this situation before and we know it is doable if we all prepare and work hard enough," he added.
For GM Antonio, he said a team sport like chess teaches them the importance of teamwork and effort. "Numerous times in history, exceptional teams with incredibly talented players have been outperformed by less talented teams that were fueled by a mutual vision and the willingness of individual players to sacrifice themselves for the team," he added.
With the win, Iloilo Kisela Knights will face Penang of Malaysia, which defeated Camarines in the other Southern Division semifinals series. Both powerhouse teams will square-off in a two-game division finals on Wednesday, Nov. 24.IMT Sports