Bibat fends off rivals, nails maiden win

Michael Bibat ended a five-year long search for a breakthrough victory, fending off a slew of rivals in a wild, wooly finale to nail the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes crown with a two-under 69 and a two-stroke win over local aces Tony Lascuña and Elmer Salvador in Davao City yesterday.
Bibat whisked off co-leaders Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Dante Becierra’s challenge early then survived a furious fightback by a host of pursuers infront of them with a gutsy backside stint to card a 35-34 round and finally end a long wait for his biggest win since bagging the bronze medal in the Asian Games in Doha in 2006.
“It’s a nice feeling, really sweet for me because it’s my first title after five years as a pro,” said Bibat, who had a number of final round meltdowns that stymied his bid for a first-ever pro win on the circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
This time, he played steady all through three days, stringing rounds of 68 and 67 to join Van der Valk and Becierra in the lead then hung tough to foil the bids of Davao aces Jay Bayron, Tony Lascuña and Elmer Salvador in a thrilling backside battle.
He wound up with a 204 and pocketed the top purse of P200,000 in the tournament which served as the fifth leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Salvador, three behind at the start of the final round, moved within one at the turn but failed to gain headway with two bogeys against two birdies at the back for a 68, while Lascuna, five off after 36 holes, closed to within two midway through but could only finish with a 34 for a 66. Both ended up with 206 and split the combined purse of P210,000.
Bayron, a come-from-behind winner at ICTSI John Hay last April, headed for a repeat when he tied Bibat after nine holes with a 33 and grabbed the lead with a birdie on No. 10. But he fumbled with a costly triple-bogey 7 on No. 13 and finished with a 70 for joint fourth with five others at 207.
They included Frankie Minoza, who also threatened to within two after No. 11 but like the rest of the challengers, failed to sustain his charge, winding up with a second 68. Ferdie Aunzo also had a flawless 32 but ran out of holes and scored a 66, Reymon Jaraula also fought back to within two after No. 12 but made a run of pars before bogeying the last hole for a 68 while Elmer Saban, just one off the lead after 36 holes, settled for an even par 71.
Van der Valk, who led in the first round and shared the lead heading to the final 18 holes, cracked under pressure, limping with a 72 and dropping to the big group of 207 scorers who took home P34,000 each.
Becierra, who showed a lot of promise with a solid 67 Thursday, also wavered on a day he vowed to make a charge, hobbling with a 75 and tumbling down to joint 14th at 210.
Salvador, a former Order of Merit champion, threatened last to within one with a birdie on No. 14 but scrambled for pars in the next three holes. He went for broke on the tough finishing hole, but his approach shot fell short, hitting the fringe before the ball rolled down to about 20 feet. He wound up with a bogey.
“I knew I needed a birdie so I went for it. Sadly, it hit the fringe and rolled back,” rued Salvador in Filipino.
Lascuna, the ICTSI Calatagan leg runaway winner who teed off six flights ahead of Bibat and company, charged back with a solid 32 and hit another birdie on No. 15 to close to within two off Bibat, only to flub a pair of birdie putts in close range in the last three holes.
“I knew I had a chance when I went four-under after nine holes. I actually got my chance at the back but I just couldn’t cash in,” said Lascuna.
No one could be as dejected than Bayron, who wrested the lead on the 10th with a four-under card but made a disastrous 7 on 13th and fell with a thud.
“Let’s not talk about it. That’s golf, anything can happen,” said Bayron.
LJ Go rebounded from a 73 with a 68 and took the low amateur honors with a 208, finishing tied for 10th with Clyde Mondilla, who also made a 68, and Anthony Fernando, who shot a 70.(pr)


Phoenix Accelerate Vega National Dragster leg in Davao a success

Leading independent oil company Phoenix Petroleum Philippines powered the 2nd leg of this year’s Phoenix Accelerate Vega National Dragster 1/8 Mile Bracket Racing Competition held on June 21 and 22 at Speed City Crocodile Park, Davao City.
About 50 to 60 cars took part in the event that was participated by racers from as far as General Santos City, Cagayan, Cebu and Manila.
 “This is just the second leg of our 2013 drag race series. We still have more to come. We also have three car shows this year, one in Tagum City this July, one in General Santos City in October, and another one in November in Davao,” said Davao Drag Racing Association President and Ground Image Team Manager Elben Pang.
The event was for the benefit of the Missionaries of Charity, an institution that takes care of the abandoned young and old.
Ground Image is the newest Phoenix Accelerate Vega Drag Race Ambassador of Phoenix Petroleum. Under the memorandum of agreement signed on March 6, 2013, Ground Image will now carry the name Team Phoenix Accelerate Vega/Ground Image Racing Team in all their events.
Phoenix Petroleum Philippines is the leading independent oil company with an expanding network of operations nationwide. It is engaged in the business of trading refined petroleum products and lubricants, operation of oil depots and storage facilities, and allied services.(pr)
Phoenix Petroleum Asst. Brand and Marketing Manager Neb Bulaclac awards the Class A winners of the Phoenix Accelerate Vega National Dragster 2nd Leg held on June 21 and 22 at Speed City Crocodile Park, Davao City. Winners are first placer Benjie Pang, second placer Yong Suguianto, and third placer Elben Pang.(pr)

Bibat, Becierra tie Dutch at helm



Michael Bibat and Dante Becierra came through with a pair of four-under 67s to catch opening day leader Guido Van der Valk at the helm for a one-stroke lead over unheralded Elmer Saban in the second round of the P1 million ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Recreational Estates in Davao City yesterday.
Bibat, outgunned by Van der Valk in their opening day shootout, got back at the Dutch ace, ratting off three birdies in the last six holes to complete a 34-33 card and match Van der Valk’s seven-under output after the erstwhile solo leader slowed down with a 69 after an impressive 66.
“My short irons clicked and also I have started to get used to the speed of the greens, that’s the most important thing,” said the Srixon-backed Bibat, the former Asian Games bronze medalist whose best finish in five years was fifth at Southwoods in 2008.
Becierra, a former Hong Kong Amateur Open champion, leaned on an strong at the back and went on to fire six birdies in the first 13 holes to momentarily seize the solo lead at eight-under with a birdie on No. 4. But he missed the green on the next and wound up with a bogey before parring the last four holes for a 32-35.
Saban, perhaps the least from among a slew of local bets to ever figure for the title race in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI, also shot a 67 to grab solo fourth at 136, just one stroke behind, while Jay Bayron, another local ace, carded a bogey-free 69 for solo fifth at 137.
With Charles Hong and Rufino Bayron joining Elmer Salvador and Anthony Fernando at 138 after a 66 and 68, respectively, the battle for the top P200,000 purse could go down to the last putt.
Van der Valk survived his game-long struggle with his putter and was lucky to remain in the title hunt in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“Today (yesterday) I really played nice but failed to cash in my putts. That would have made the difference if I made some of it,” he said.
Salvador birdied No. 1 then recovered from a bogey-bogey mishap from No. 3 with four birdies in the last 13 holes, including three straight from No. 6 as he shot a 68 while Fernando, the former national champion also seeking a breakthrough win as a pro, carded a 70.
Frankie Minoza, who matched par in the first round, missed joining the 138 group with a closing bogey on No. 9 for a 68, dropping to fifth at 139 in a tie with Cassius Casas and Edward Reyes, who both had 68s, Reymon Jaraula
Other three-under overall scorers were Edward Reyes, the third man in the Bibat-Van der Valk flight who shot a 68, and unheralded Reymon Jaraula, who shot a 69, and Rolando Marabe, who turned in a 70.
Defending champion Carl Santos-Ocampo made a 69 but remained too far behind at 140, five strokes adrift, in the company of Clyde Mondilla and Paul Minoza, who had 67s, and Tony Lascuña, Richard Sinfuego, Rey Pagunsan, Benjie Magada and Jun Bernis, who all had 69s, and Mhark Fernando and Rene Menor, who settled for 71s.
Amateur LJ Go, who started the round in second just a stroke off Van der Valk, sputtered with a 73 and dropped to the big group of 140 scorers.
The event is backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.(pr)

Dutch, amateur show up local aces in ICTSI RPV Classic



Dutch Guido Van der Valk humbled the revered men of the tour, including Davao’s top guns, as he turned in a five-under 66 to emerge the surprise solo leader ¬– one shot ahead of amateur LJ Go at the start of the P1 million ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic in Davao City yesterday.
Van der Valk, who topped the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Qualifier but who could only post a best joint eighth finish at ICTSI John Hay in three of the first four legs of this year’s circuit, missed making it a two-shot lead with a final hole bogey that marred an otherwise sterling round of 34-32.
Twenty-four players posted under-par rounds while 13 matched par at the par-71 layout which lay defenseless in the absence of the wind with Van der Valk fashioning out a low round despite drawing a late tee-off time in the 54-hole tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“Despite that bogey, I had a solid day and didn’t really encounter trouble,” said the 33-year-old Van der Valk, who hit three birdies at the back where he teed off then rattled off back-to-back birdies to resume his bid at the front before going six-under with another birdie on the par-4 No. 7.
He, however, mishit his drive on the ninth and needed to play out for that bogey.
“I know there are a lot of good players behind me so I just have to play better each day,” said Van der Valk, who settled for a one-stroke lead over equally surprising Go, a rookie who showed up the pros to fire his own version of a four-under 67.
The spearhead of back-to-back champion Cebu Country Club in the PAL Interclub actually went six-under in a solid stint after 13 holes but reeled back with a double-bogey on No. 14.
Still, his 67 put him in solo second with Jay Bayron, Anthony Fernando and Dante Becierra leading the local bets’ charge with 68s in a tie with Michael Bibat, the former Asian Games bronze medalist long due for breakthrough victory in the circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Bayron, who grew up at Apo Golf like majority of the country’s leading players, leaned on two long birdie putts on Nos. 12 and 14 to put himself in early contention for a second victory after nipping Miguel Tabuena in a playoff to capture the ICTSI John Hay Championship crown last April.
“It’s nice to start a tournament this way because in Baguio, I needed to play catch up to win,” said Bayron, 34. “Although it’s still too early to tell, at least I’m in the upper half.”
Becierra, the former Hong Kong Amateur Open champion still in search of his maiden pro win, took charge in the early going with a spotless four-under card heading to the 18th, only to fumble with a bogey following an errant drive and poor approach shot.
“I just miscalculated it. But I’m happy with how I performed despite that closing bogey,” said Becierra, 27, whose highest finish on the tour was third at Mt. Malarayat in 2011. This year, he had missed the cut twice after four legs while finishing last in the other.
Fernando, the former amateur champion, also made a strong start of four birdies against one bogey while Bibat also missed joining Go at second with a final hole bogey on No. 9.
Mhark Fernando, another Davao ace, led a big bunch of unheralded two-under 69 scorers, who included Albin Engino, Rene Menor, Rolando Marabe, Joebard Rates, Elmer Saban and Chris Mamaril, while former Order of Merit winner Elmer Salvador closed out with back-to-back bogeys to drop to joint 14 at 70.
Other one-under par scorers were Rufino Bayron, Ferdie Aunzo, Jessie Balasabas, Reymon Jaraula, Agustin Mata, Mark Varela, Randy Garalde, James Ryan Lam and Korean Kim Chang Hoi.
Frankie Minoza bucked a double-bogey on No. 3 with three straight birdies from No. 7 but dropped another stroke on the 16th to settle with an even par 71 in a tie with fancied Tony Lascuna, Jhonnel Ababa, Cassius Casas, Jun Bernis, Benjie Magada, Micah Shin of Korea, Richard Sinfuego, Arnold Villacencio, Miguel Ochoa, Rey Pagunsan, Edward Reyes, amateur Francis Morilla and defending champion Carl Santos-Ocampo.
The event is backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.(pr)





dante becierra


1st Tok-Hang Basketball Cup a success


DCPO Director Ronald dela Rosa, Chief of Sta. Ana Police Station Police Superintendent Caezar Cabuhat, and Phoenix Petroleum Corporate Affairs Manager Ben Sur with the Mythical Team in the 1st Tok-Hang Basketball Cup held last May 14 to 30, 2013 at the DCPO Gymnasium.

Sixteen teams composed of kids 15 years old and below from different barangays under the jurisdiction of Sta. Ana Police Station 1 dribbled and shot in the 1st Tok-Hang Basketball Cup. The event for a cause was held on May 14 to 30, 2013 at the DCPO Gymnasium and organized by Sta. Ana Police Station 1 in partnership with Phoenix Petroleum Philippines.

Tok-Hang is part of the DCPO’s campaign to discourage the youth from using illegal drugs and instead participate more in the community. “Those who joined the tournament may serve as good examples for their friends to stop their illegal drug activities and shift their focus to sports and health and wellness activities instead,” said DCPO Director Ronald dela Rosa.
The event was graced by Jr. NBA player Mahloney Tarranza from Brgy. Lapu-Lapu who received two awards as Most Valuable Player (MVP) and was named to the Mythical Team. Micole Dela Peña of Barangay Leon Garcia was awarded the Three Point Shoot Out.
The top three barangays were awarded with trophies and cash prizes. Barangay Lapu-lapu was crowned champion, while Barangay 20-B placed second and Barangay San Antonio third.
The Oplan Tokhang, also known as Toktok Hangyo or Knock and Plead campaign of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), is an anti-illegal drugs campaign, where policemen visit barangays to personally meet and appeal to known offenders linked with using or selling drugs to end their involvement
Phoenix Petroleum, partner of DCPO in the Basketball Cup, believes that an active lifestyle such as participating in sports will promote a better future for the youth.(pr)

Putra Cup recruitment well worth it – Manotoc

After watching just one round of the NGAP’s Philippine Amateur Closed golf championship, Tommy Manotoc believes that his two-year recruitment effort for the Putra Cup is well worth it.
“We have a solid team. We have players who can really play,” Manotoc said Thursday afternoon, moments after watching men’s recruits Jonathan Delos Reyes and Rico Hoey tame challenging Sherwood Hills here with a combined one-under-par 143.
Manotoc, a member of a huge number of victorious Putra Cup teams in the past, wants to give that title back to the Philippines, which hosts the annual event from June 27-30 also over the well-manicured layout south of Manila.
“Recruiting these guys was a long process, it took me close to two years to get them here to play,” Manotoc said.
Delos Reyes and Hoey were born from Filipino parents with Delos Reyes playing on Philippine soil for the first time and the 17-year-old Hoey, whom the University of Southern California actively pursued, seeing action in the country for the first time in 12 years.
Though Delos Reyes nipped Hoey by a stroke for first round honors on Thursday, both showcased potential far beyond their years and got observers all pumped up for Southeast Asia’s official team golf championship.
Delos Reyes and Hoey will be in the men’s team together with Rupert Zaragosa and Jobim Carlos, and Delos Reyes, after seeing Zaragosa play for the first time, believes that the Philippines will have a solid team for the Putra Cup.
“That kid’s a player,” Delos Reyes said.
The Filipinos, who were practically untouched in the Putra Cup in the 1970s and well into the 1980s, last hoisted the championship trophy in 1996 in Myanmar.
And with the event returning to the country for the first time since 2007, Manotoc believes that the Philippines is now armed to the teeth to get long lost glory back.(pr)

Minoza joins ICTSI Rancho title hunt in Davao

Frankie Minoza gets to see action again on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as he joins the three-leg southern swing of the circuit beginning with the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic on Wednesday, June 26 at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Recreational Estates in Davao City.
Minoza, who finished joint 16th in this year’s kickoff leg of the tour at ICTSI Sherwood won in runaway fashion by Miguel Tabuena, signed up for the 54-hole tournament serving as the fifth leg of the 15-stage circuit, hoping to contend for the crown in any of the three legs lined up in the region for the next three weeks.
But the veteran campaigner, the former Asian Tour No. 1 and two-time Philippine Open champion, will be up against a talent-laden field headed by a slew of ace Davaoeno shotmakers, including reigning ICTSI PGT Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna and Jay Bayron.
Lascuna and Bayron, in fact, are gunning for a second leg crown after topping the Calatagan and Baguio stages, respectively, while a host of others are out to nail their first win, guaranteeing a fierce battle for top honors in the P1 million event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Carl Santos-Ocampo, who nipped James Ryan Lam and Randy Garalde on the second playoff to post his breakthrough win here last year, is all geared-up for a back-to-back victory following a strong third place finish in last month’s ICTSI Orchard Championship of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The Andy Dye-designed all-weather championship layout, overlooking a vast banana plantation along the Davao river banks, is also expected to test the field’s shotmaking and putting skills with its elevated, undulated terrain and unpredictable greens.
With current OOM leader Miguel Tabuena opting to play on the Asian Development Tour in Malaysia together with Mars Pucay, second running Bayron and No. 3 Lascuna are expected to go all out for a win to boost their respective bids in the event backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.
Others tipped to crowd the favorites for the crown are Edward Reyes, Jhonnel Ababa, Richard Sinfuego, Charles Hong, Rufino Bayron, Michael Bibat, Clyde Mondilla, Ferdie Aunzo, Mhark Fernando, Rey Pagunsan and Cassius Casas.
Dutch Guido Van der Valk is also in the fold along with Jun Bernis, Christopher delos Santos, Marvin Dumandan, Anthony Fernando, Zanie Boy Gialon, Benjie Magada, Joenard Rates, Elmer Saban, Ruben Sasutil, Lam and Garalde.
Next up for the men of the tour is the ICTSI Del Monte Championship on July 3-5 at Del Monte to be followed by the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship on July 10-12 at Pueblo de Oro.(pr)