Bacolod—Two rivals loaded with new talents will be put to a grueling test on Wednesday as The Country Club (TCC) tries to dethrone Canlubang in the championship division of the 63rd Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.
TCC, the runner-up last year, will again be relying on the services of Tonlits Asistio, Rufino Bayron, Dante Becierra, and Peter Villaber-all former national team pool members—plus Zanie Boy Gialon and local bet Juan Raul Tanpinco.
The new additions are Fil-Am Carl Santos-Ocampo, Dino Villanueva, Edwin Madrileño, and Alexes Nallos. These amateurs are in the development program of the TCC team headed by national team coach Bong Lopez, according to captain Freddie Mendoza.
Clearly on paper, TCC, with the young guns in tow, is the underdog, Mendoza said. But he has faith in his wards that they’ll be able to perform at a high-level and match up well with Canlubang.
“Our practices have yielded good results in the past few days. The players have had the chance to play both the Bacolod Golf and Country Club’s Binitin and NOGCC’s Marapara layout. Hopefully, we can bring these positives in the next four days,” Mendoza also said.
Canlubang coach Tommy Manotoc, believes that there is no pre-tournament favorite. He thinks that his squad and TCC are almost as even in all aspects. It is only a matter of getting the right mix of players in each playing day.
The defending champion will have Abe Rosal, Joey Huerva, Art Arbole, Jobim Carlos and Rupert Zaragosa III in support to last year’s holdovers Mhark Fernando, Jhonel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Albin Engino, and Paul Echavez.
Huerva, Arbole and Carlos suited up for TCC in the PAL Interclub’s Davao leg in 2009.
“The competition is very even. The good scorers of Canlubang and TCC will surely cancel out. The outputs of the third and fourth man will be crucial down the stretch,” Manotoc said.
The event is presented by platinum sponsors Airbus, Boeing, 105.1 Crossover and Radio Mindanao Network. Major sponsors are Action Asia, GE Aviation, MTV Philippines, People Asia and Royal Caribbean.
The corporate backers are Business Mirror, Philippine Graphic, http://www.philstar.com, Sabre Airline Solutions/Sabre Travel Network and Resort World Manila. Century Park Hotel, DWWW 774 AM, Panay News, Master Card and Thales Aerospace are minor patrons.
The 63rd PAL Interclub, with this year’s theme “Swing High in Bacolod”, opens this year’s sporting season for the national flag carrier which flies five times a day to the capital of Negros Occidental, just one of the country’s many golfing venues regularly served by PAL.