Blazing finish nets Rates maiden win

Jun Rates hoists the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship trophy after besting the elite field to record his first-ever pro victory.(pr photo)
Jun Rates hoists the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship trophy after besting the elite field to record his first-ever pro victory.(pr photo)

 

BAGUIO – In an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation, Jun Rates didn’t blink, battled Tony Lascuna shot-for-shot and putt-for-putt then beat the reigning back-to-back Order of Merit champion with a scorching three-birdie finish to capture the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship by three with an eight-under 62 here yesterday.
Rates bucked an early slip and Lascuna’s charge with gutsy par saves and clutch birdies then outgunned his fancied rival in a backside shootout, capped by that fiery windup for the day’s best card, ending a five-year long title spell and joining the elite circle of winners on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour with a 22-under 250 total.
Rates never run out of surprises in proving his worth against the best in the fold. Blowing a two-shot lead after Lascuna pounced on a two-shot swing on No. 2 (birdie-bogey), he matched Lascuna’s pars and birdies with pressure-packed putts, the first on No. 8 from 30 feet to salvage a par, a six-foot birdie on the ninth to remain tied at the turn and a five-foot birdie on the 10th to regain the lead.
He rolled in a delicate downhiller from seven feet on No. 12 to remain on top, went two-up with another birdie on the 13th then took a three-shot cushion when Lascuna dropped a stroke on No. 14. Refusing to give up, Lascuna fought back with a birdie on No. 15 but Rates saved another tough uphill par save from 10 feet then matched Lascuna’s birdies in the next two before birdying the 72nd hole from two feet off a superb 9-iron shot from 160 yards for good measure.
“I had a tough time making my first birdie on No. 7 but I made three crucial par saves from long range, which kept me going and helped me win,” said Rates, referring to his putts on Nos. 8, 12 and 15.
His stirring three-birdie windup capped a near-flawless 34-28 round, a solid finish that spoke well of the caliber of the diminutive player who was never given a second look in this P2 million event and never got close to contending for a crown after finishing third here in 2012.
“It’s a great feeling winning for the first time and I hope to go for it again in the next two legs at Eagle Ridge and Sherwood,” said the 5-3, five-year pro from Lipa, Batangas who pocketed P360,000.
Lascuna also put on a strong finishing kick with three birdies from No. 15 to shoot a 63 but just could shake off the steady Rates, barely flubbing an eagle-putt from 14 feet on the 17th and settling for second with a 19-under 253 worth P250,000.
“He (Jun) deserved to win. He played solid the whole week and was very determined to win his first title,” said Lascuna. “But it was his clutch putts on Nos. 12 and 15 that made it difficult for me.
Rates’ solid finish also checked a final round foldup that marred the two big tournaments in the country the last three weeks that saw Angelo Que blew his title bid at Solaire Open after leading the final round and Rufino Bayron squandering a nine-shot lead in the last day of the ICTSI Splendido Classic.
Rates wound not have any of those meltdowns. In contrast, he showed the rest how to emerge the best.
Jay Bayron, who nipped Miguel Tabuena on the second playoff hole to rule this event last year then came from nine strokes down to beat brother Rufino in last week’s ICTSI Splendido Classic, shot a 67 and wound up solo third at 258 worth P140,000.
“I’m happy for Jun. He’s been chasing for this one for a long time,” said Jay Bayron.
Fil-Am Carl Santos-Ocampo carded a 65, took solo fourth at 259 and pocketed P115,000 while Que rallied with a 64 to tie Orlan Sumcad, who shot a 65, at 261 and split the combined purse of P167,000.
Tabuena and Elmer Salvador put in identical 65s to share seventh place at 262 worth a combined take of P123,000 while Rene Menor fired a five-under 63 to tie Canadian Rick Gibson and Jhonnel Ababa, who both made 66s, at 263. Each got P45,500.
The other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp and FootJoy and media partners Balls TV and ABS-CBN.(pr)

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Lady Bulldogs foil Tigresses in 5, wrest lead; Arellano stuns Ateneo

National U’s Jaja Santiago takes off for a spike against UST’s Pam Lastimosa and Jessey de Leon during their Shakey’s V-League Season II First Conference duel at The Arena.(pr photo)
National U’s Jaja Santiago takes off for a spike against UST’s Pam Lastimosa and Jessey de Leon during their Shakey’s V-League Season II First Conference duel at The Arena.(pr photo)

Lady Bulldogs foil Tigresses in 5, wrest lead

Games tomorrow
2 p.m. – SWU vs St. Benilde
4 p.m. – Perpetual Help vs San Sebastian

Defending champion National University blew a two-set lead but came through with a strong start and a stronger finishing kick in the decider to repulse University of Santo Tomas, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 15-10, and seize the solo lead in Group B in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Dindin Santiago took charge in the fifth frame, scoring off the block and a kill while Ivy Perez and Carmina Aganon delivered the last two points in the Lady Bulldogs’ fiery four-point windup that finished off the Tigresses, who fell 1-5 but threatened to within at 10-11.
NU coach Ariel dela Cruz, a former national team player who took over the reins last year, said keeping their composure in the fifth set proved to be the key in their second straight win after sweeping reigning NCAA champion Perpetual Help in last week’s opener of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
“We didn’t panic, we kept our cool, that really helped us,” said dela Cruz, then a consultant to interim coach Ejjet Mabbayad when NU bested Ateneo in three games to reign here last year.
After the Tigresses battled from five points down to pull within, 10-11, the 6-3 Santiago scored a pair of hits – an off-the-block spike against UST’s Carmela Tunay and an unmolested kill that helped quash the Tigresses’ late rally and seal the Lady Bulldogs’ victory.
Perez then unloaded a serve that hit the net but which rolled over to the UST side before Aganon blasted away a vicious kill to wrap up the two-hour, three-minute encounter.
Aganon wound up a topscoring 17 hits while Jaja Santiago, the 6-6 younger sister of Dindin, fired 14, including five blocks.
Dindin, Aiko Urdas, and Myla Pablo chipped in 11 apiece while Perez added nine hits.
It was a sorry setback for the Tigresses, the winningest team in the league backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil, who came roaring back from two sets down to force a decider largely behind rookie guest player EJ Laure.
Laure, a daughter of PBA veteran and former MBA star Eddie and a recent high school graduate at UST who was allowed to play as a guest player, debuted with a bang as she unloaded a game-high 23 points, including 22 kills.
After her superb performance, the 16-year-old Laure became an instant hit and a top trending topic on Twitter while gained the admiration of many volley fans, including the NU coach.
“She didn’t look like a high school player because she plays like a veteran,” said dela Cruz of UST’s prized find.
Interestingly, Pamela Lastimosa and Marivic Meneses, who scored 16 and 14, respectively, are also second generation players being nieces of former PBA stars Jojo Lastimosa and now Jose Rizal coach Vergel Meneses.
Meanwhile, the UST-NU duel will be aired on GMA News TV starting at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) while the Ateneo-Arellano clash will be shown Wednesday, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Arellano U survived a furious Ateneo fightback as it escaped with a shock 21-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13 victory to grab the solo lead in Group A with two wins.
Danna Henson and Christine Joy Rosario fired 14 hits apiece, banging in the bulk of their output in the decider where the Lady Chiefs weathered a late Ateneo comeback to annex a steal of a win.
The Lady Eagles, the reigning UAAP champions and the heavy favorites to contend for the title here, fell to 1-1.
Alyssa Valdez, the reigning UAAP MVP, came away with 20 hits, spearheading the Loyola-based squad’s fightback from a six-point deficit to snatch a 13-12 lead.
But the Lady Chiefs refused to give and took the last three points on a Valdez mishit, an Ateneo net interference and a Henson kill.(pr)

Lady Eagles claw Falcons, NU crushes Perpetual in Shakey’s V-L opener

Lady Eagles claw Falcons, NU crushes Perpetual  in Shakey’s V-L opener

Reigning UAAP queens Ateneo Lady Eagles showcased their “heart-strong” attitude once more, turning back Adamson Lady Falcons, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, at the start of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference before a big Sunday crowd at San Juan Arena.

Fresh from their historic triumph in the UAAP last week, the Lady Eagles put up one big fight and successfully overcame deficits in the three sets they won to notch victory no. 1 in the opening game witnessed by over 5,000 fans.

Skipper Alyssa Valdez spearheaded the assault of the Lady Eagles and punched in a game-high 23 points while Amy Ahomiro provided able support with 16 markers, including seven aces and four blocks, and Michelle Morente chipped in 14.

Guest players Pau Soriano and Thai Pacharee Sangmuang combined for 36 points to lead the way for the Lady Falcons, who actually forced the Ateneans to play catch-up most of the way in the initial match of the competitions sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Sports Vision.

The Shakey’s V-League, backed by Mikasa, Accel and Akari, ushered in its 11th season with elaborate rites graced by San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora, who represented Mayor Guia Gomez, and Shakey’s officials led by EVP and COO Vic Gregorio, and organizing Sports Vision president Ricky Palou and chair Moying Martelino.

After a split of the first two sets, the Lady Falcons threatened to take the fight out of the Lady Eagles when they seized a 15-9 lead in the pivotal third.

But with the crowd chanting “Go Ateneo, one big fight!” the Lady Eagles, led by Ahomiro who fired three consecutive aces, fought back hard, caught up with the Lady Falcons, and went on to steal the set.

The same never-say-die spirit came into fore for Ateneo again in the fourth set, where Adamson came charging and took a 18-14 cushion.

Valdez came to Ateneo’s rescue, scoring off the block and denying a kill by Soriano as the Lady Eagles turned the tables around and outdueled the Lady Falcons in a thrilling race to the finish.

With the count knotted at 24, Morente put Ateneo on the hill with a through-the-block attack afterwhich Ella de Jesus smashed in a kill from the left flank as Ateneo secured the win.

In the second game, National University Bulldogs started their title-retention bid on a fiery note as they crushed NCAA holders Perpetual in straight sets, 25-20, 25-14, 25-15.

Dindin Santiago scored 12 points while Myla Pablo added 10 and Jaja Santiago had nine as the Lady Bulldogs, out to redeem themselves after missing the finals of the last UAAP, disposed of the Lady Altas in 62 minutes.

Honey Rose Tubino struck for 16 markers but the rest of the Perpetual team couldn’t get much going against the tough defense of tall NU, with only 26 of their spikes getting past the Lady Bulldogs’ blockers.NU also had nine points off blocks against Perpetual’s one.(pr)

Davao’s ‘Other’ Bayron snatches ICTSI Splendido crown

ICTSI SPLENDIDO CLASSIC

TAGAYTAY – Davao’s Jay Bayron came charging back from nine strokes down with a brilliant backside 32 then watched younger brother Rufino Bayron flub a playoff-clinching putt on the 72nd hole to snatch the ICTSI Splendido Classic crown with a 69 in a windy, topsy-turvy final round at Splendido Taal Golf Club here yesterday.
As Rufino cracked under pressure and skied to a 79 after a string of under-par cards, and Tony Lascuna, another Dabawenyo, failed to check his early skid and hobbled with a 73, Jay put on a strong finishing kick in a flight ahead of the championship group, closing out with a four-under 32, spiked by an eagle on the par-5 11th and capped by a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th, another par-5 hole.
With a seven-under 281 total, Jay took a one-stroke lead over Rufino, who set up a birdie-putt from 10 feet on the final hole. But the third round leader wilted under extreme pressure, enabling Jay to steal the win and the top P270,000 purse in the kickoff leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
“I really didn’t expect to win. I just played my game and tried to hold on against the strong wind at the backside,” said Jay in Pilipino. “I only a realized that I had taken the lead after I bogeyed No. 16.”
It was a monumental fold-up for Rufino, who had looked forward to finally ending a long search for a breakthrough win after tying the course record of 65 in the third round and building a seven-stroke lead. But he cracked up early, making three straight bogeys from No. 2 and closing out the frontside with back-to-back double bogeys.
Still, his 43 at the turn kept him on top of the heap until Jay made one final charge with an eagle from a brilliant 4-iron shot from 206 that landed 8 feet off the target and three birdies from close range that negated his bogey on the 16th from an errant drive.
Clyde Mondilla, 12 strokes off Rufino in the fourth-to-the-last flight, also had a chance to tie Jay but muffed his own birdie bid from 12 feet, settling for joint runner-up with Rufino at 282. Each took home P145,000.
Like Rufino, Lascuna struggled while trying to buck the wind that blew from all over, making a double bogey on the second but moving within two off despite a 38 at the turn. Like Rufino, the reigning back-to-back ICTSI PGT Order of Merit champion settled for pars at the back, sneaking in a birdie on the 16th to salvage a 73 for solo fourth at 283 worth P85,000.
“I knew I had a chance but I just could make the putts at the back,” rued Lascuna, who missed at least two birdie putts inside six feet in the last nine holes.
Elmer Salvador, the leader in the first two rounds and the third player in the featured flight, birdied the opening hole but made three straight bogeys from No. 3 and never got back into contention. He wound up with a 75, finishing tied for fourth at 285 with Frankie Minoza, who made a 73.
Minoza, who posted three victories last year, actually moved to joint second in the early going with an eagle on No. 1 but failed to sustain his charge and finished with a one-over card. Each received P64,250.
Rey Pagunsan fumbled with a 75 for solo seventh at 286 worth P51,500 while Miguel Tabuena carded a 71 and ended up tied for eighth at 287 with veteran Robert Pactolerin, who matched par 72. They shared the combined P80,500 prize.
Swede Malcolm Kokocinski emerged as the top foreign player in the sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., finishing tied for 10th with Paul Echavez, who rallied with a 71, with a 73 for a 288. Each got P32,000.
Expecting a cruise for Rufino, Jay instead found himself contending for the crown with a brilliant backside 32 as the former failed to recover from a 43 start with a slew of pars at the back.
“Dumiskarte lang ako para malabanan ko ung lakas ng hangin. Mabuti at nakabawi ako sa backnine,” said Jay, whose victory augured well for his title-retention bid in the tour’s next leg at ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship set to fire off Wednesday in Baguio.
Lascuna pressed his bid early with a birdie on the first hole but mishit his drive on the next and holed out with a double-bogey before dropping another stroke on the next. He birdied No. 6 but bogeyed the ninth for a 38 and failed to hit more than one birdie at the back for that 73.
The event was backed by Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp and FootJoy with Balls TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action as media partners. (pr)

caption// Jay Bayron (center) holds his prize and trophy as he poses with ICTSI Public Relations head Narlene Soriano (left) and Splendido Taal Golf Club general manager Teboy Javier after ruling the ICTSI Splendito Classic in come-from-behind fashion.(pr photo)
Jay Bayron (center) holds his prize and trophy as he poses with ICTSI Public Relations head Narlene Soriano (left) and Splendido Taal Golf Club general manager Teboy Javier after ruling the ICTSI Splendito Classic in come-from-behind fashion.(pr photo)

Team Eagle Master 2 rules 6th Phoenix Open

Winners of the 6th Phoenix Open Team division Team Eagle Master 2 composed of Johan Dalmacio, Butch Santillan, Lorenzo Ang, and Jess Panisales receive their awards from Phoenix Petroleum Vice President for External Affairs, Business Development and Security Atty. Raymond Zorrilla (R), and Asst. Vice President for Supply Rita Ros (L), on March 8 at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf & Country Club.
Winners of the 6th Phoenix Open Team division Team Eagle Master 2 composed of Johan Dalmacio, Butch Santillan, Lorenzo Ang, and Jess Panisales receive their awards from Phoenix Petroleum Vice President for External Affairs, Business Development and Security Atty. Raymond Zorrilla (R), and Asst. Vice President for Supply Rita Ros (L), on March 8 at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf & Country Club.


 

 
Lorenzo Ang, Jess Panisales, Johan Dalmacio, and Butch Santillan of Team Eagle Master 2 emerged as team champions in the 77th Araw ng Dabaw 6th Phoenix Open Golf tournament held on March 8, 2014 at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf & Country Club, Davao City.

 

 
The team scored a total of 157 points in the 18-hole, Stableford format. They bested Team AEON Towers which came in second and Team Eagle Master 1 at third place. Team AEON Towers was composed of Marc Lopez, Ronald Galicia, Andrew Bautista, Joel Yamyamin, and Cris Tan, while Abe Dizon, Jun Serado, Lito Dublan, Tony Batao, and Joe Tesado made up Team Eagle Master 1.

 

 
CK Chang and Louie Rabat tallied a total of 80 to emerge as champion in the Partner category, while Marc Lopez and Andrew Bautista came in second with a score of 79. Third placers Joe Marfori and Boy Tan also scored 79 but lost in a count back.

 

 
The winners received Royal Selangor pewter plates and Champions received limited edition Phoenix signature golf bags. The awarding ceremonies was led by Phoenix Petroleum Vice President for External Affairs and Business Development Atty. Raymond Zorrilla and Asst. Vice President for Supply Rita Ros. 

 

 
Individual winners in Class A division were Leo Yap (31) as gross champion and Diemy Monedero (36) as net champion. Class B division gross champion was Archie Moralizon (27), and net champion Michael Ng (39). Class C division gross champion was Rchard Bad-ang (27) and net champion Dodge Manubay (43). Randy Arevalco (22) won as gross champion and Rafael Garcia (40) net champion in Class D division. A special award was given to Fred Baluran for the longest drive hole 15, while Louie Rabat, GP Duremdes, and Herbert Tan won for accurate drive.

 

 
The 6th Phoenix Open Golf Tournament is a fund raising tournament of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines for the benefit of Phoenix Foundation Philippines and its projects on Education, Environment, Health and Safety, and Outreach.

 

 
It is presented by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Pioneer Insurance, co-presented by Trans-Overseas Industrial Corporation.

 

 
The 6th Phoenix Open is part of Phoenix Petroleum’s five major events for the 77th Araw ng Dabaw celebration. The other four are the Phoenix Family Fun Run, 2014 Phoenix Premium 98 Regional 1/8 Mile Drag Racing Championship Series, 2014 Phoenix Accelerate Vega Regional Autocross Championships, and the 77th Araw ng Dabaw Cyclomax Motocross.

 

 
Major sponsors of the Phoenix Araw ng Dabaw events are Brenton Engineering and Kairos Oil Trading.

 

 
Gold sponsors are Custom Grafix, Seadove Maritime Services, Inc., Cebu DLS Construction & Development Corp., Novalco, WorthRand Petropower Corp., Philippine Bank of Communications, Banco De Oro, and Mechatrends. Silver sponsors are EEI Construction & Marine, Inc., Bayan Communications, Globe, Uni-field Enterprises, Inc., Measurement & Controls Technology Inc., Greenflex Consulting, Santos Land Development Corp., and PLDT. Bronze sponsors are Landbank, Aeolus, HSBC, F2 Logistics, Maybank, Joytrade Industrial Marketing, Chinatrust, TFBotones Construction Corp., RealSoft, Inc., Emicor Inc., HR Apilado Construction, Gendiesel Philippines Inc., YL Fishing Corp., Philhua Shipping, Inc., ESBE Industrial Builders, Emcor, and Mega Fortris Philippines. Media partners are Sunstar Davao, The Mindanao Daily Mirror, EDGE Davao, Mindanao Times, Gold Star Daily and TV5.(pr)
Phoenix Open Partner division winners

 

2,000 runners join Phoenix Family Fun Run

Phoenix Petroleum Brand and Marketing Manager Celina Matias awards the winners of the 3K category of the Phoenix Family Fun Run on March 9 at SM Lanang Premier.(pr photo)
Phoenix Petroleum Brand and Marketing Manager Celina Matias awards the winners of the 3K category of the Phoenix Family Fun Run on March 9 at SM Lanang Premier.(pr photo)

2,000 runners join Phoenix Family Fun Run

Davao runners Sonny Wagdos and Monalisa Ambasa ruled the 10K category of the Phoenix Family Fun Run held March 9, 2014 at SM Lanang Premier.

Wados was first to cross the 10K finish line among the men, with a gun time of 33:24. Second placer Elmer Bartolo (34:34) was a minute and ten seconds behind. Coming in third was Michael Echalico (34:41).

Among the 10K women racers, Ambasa finished on top with a time of 42:59. She led comfortably in the 10K leg over second placer Cynthia Jaro (44:36), and third placer April Diaz (46:10).

10K champions each received a grand prize of P5,000 in cash. Second placers received P4,000, and third placers P3,000.

In the 5K race, among men Michael Ian Constantino finished first, clocking in at 16:55, while Maygae Nenora led the women at 19:48. At second and third places were Rolly Paderna (17:08) and Glen Payag (17:12) , and Ruffa Sorongon  (20:11) and third Creselyn Jaro (20:22), respectively. 5K first placers each received P3,000 cash, second placers P2,000, and third P1,000 in cash.

The 3K race among kids 12 years old below was a close one in the boy’s division with winner Jet Li Lizaran (10:20) only three seconds ahead of Jilian Naparan (10:23). Josaiman Bajao (12:21) came in third. Pia Suarez led the girl’s with a time of 12:08, followed by Vernagil Sabueno (12:28) and Natalie Margarette Roble (13:55).

The Phoenix Run was participated by more than 2,000 runners from Davao City and other cities. The delegation from Compostela Valley was the largest among LGUs, while Team Titans was the biggest among running groups, and Vicente Hizon Elementary School the biggest school delegation. They each received P5,000 in cash.

The Youngest Runner Award was awarded to 2-year old Joann Francis Palacio who ran with his father under the 5K category. He received a certificate and P500 in cash.

The Cagape Family was also given a special award as the biggest family delegation with four members of the family running together under the 10K category.

Other fun events in the Phoenix Run included a raffle and the Zumba party that warmed up the runners.

The Phoenix Family Fun Run is presented by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Pioneer Insurance, and co-presented by Trans-Overseas Industrial Corporation. It is organized by Vantage Sports with SM City Davao as venue partner.

Proceeds from the Phoenix Family Fun Run will go to the Phoenix Philippines Foundation, Inc. to support its programs on Education, Environment, Health and Safety, and Outreach.

The Run is part of Phoenix Petroleum’s five major events for the 77th Araw ng Dabaw celebration. The other four are: the recently-concluded 7th Phoenix Open golf tournament, 2014 Phoenix Premium 98 Regional 1/8 Mile Drag Racing Championship Series, 2014 Phoenix Accelerate Vega Regional Autocross Championships, and the 77th Araw ng Dabaw Cyclomax Motocross.

Major sponsors of the Phoenix Araw ng Dabaw events are Brenton Engineering and Kairos Oil Trading. Gold sponsors are Custom Grafix, Seadove Maritime Services, Inc., Cebu DLS Construction & Development Corp., Novalco, WorthRand Petropower Corp., Philippine Bank of Communications, Banco De Oro, and Mechatrends. Silver sponsors are EEI Construction & Marine, Inc., Bayan Communications, Globe, Uni-field Enterprises, Inc., Measurement & Controls Technology Inc., Greenflex Consulting, Santos Land Development Corp., and PLDT. Bronze sponsors are Landbank, Aeolus, HSBC, F2 Logistics, Maybank, Joytrade Industrial Marketing, Chinatrust, TFBotones Construction Corp., RealSoft, Inc., Emicor Inc., HR Apilado Construction, Gendiesel Philippines Inc., YL Fishing Corp., Philhua Shipping, Inc., ESBE Industrial Builders, Emcor, and Mega Fortris Philippines. Media partners are Sunstar Davao, The Mindanao Daily Mirror, EDGE Davao, Mindanao Times, Gold Star Daily and TV5.(pr)

 

PAL Men’s Interclub: Orchard captures maiden title

ORCHARD CAPTURES MAIDEN TITLE.  General Manager Rene Garovillo (fifth from left) poses with his jubilant crew of Nico Santiano, Ace Stehmeier, Rodel Mangulabnan, TJ Benitez, Tonito Payumo, Ray Sangil, JP de Claro, Aian Arcilla, King Stehmeier and captain Francis Montallana as Orchard captured its first crown in the Championship Division of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Men’s Tournament in Bacolod.  Orchard (477) defeated Alabang (459).(PAL photo)
ORCHARD CAPTURES MAIDEN TITLE. General Manager Rene Garovillo (fifth from left) poses with his jubilant crew of Nico Santiano, Ace Stehmeier, Rodel Mangulabnan, TJ Benitez, Tonito Payumo, Ray Sangil, JP de Claro, Aian Arcilla, King Stehmeier and captain Francis Montallana as Orchard captured its first crown in the Championship Division of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub Men’s Tournament in Bacolod. Orchard (477) defeated Alabang (459).(PAL photo)

PAL Men’s Interclub
Orchard captures maiden title

BACOLOD – John Kier Abdon anchored a swashbuckling finish yesterday, shooting a two-over-par 72 worth 34 points to lead Orchard to its first Men’s Championship division title in the PAL Interclub at tree-lined Marapara here.

The 22-year-old came up with the perfect going away present as he turns pro next month, playing steadiest on another trying day at the wind-swept course as Orchard – seeing action for the first time in the centrepiece division – completed a Cinderella finish.

Orchard totalled 126 points for the day and 477 overall, a whopping 18 shots clear of Alabang as no one in the field came close to the way it performed in the final day.

Alabang couldn’t keep up with Orchard in the final round, shooting 118 for 459 with Del Monte finishing third six points behind and Cebu Country Club faltering even more for fourth spot 40 points off the pace.

The veteran King Stehmeier, the second round hero, ably backed up Abdon with 33 and younger brother Ace chipped in with 30. Orchard was so impressive yesterday that either 29s of JP De Claro and Ian Salvador counted as the fourth score.

“There were doubts on whether or not we can play with the big boys,” non-playing skipper Francis Montillano told a handful of scribes later. “But we came here ready to play.”

Justin Quiban fired 33 and  Jama Reyes contributed 32 to lead Alabang, which counted the 28 and 25 of Basti Lorenzo and Gabriel Manotoc, respectively and threw away the 23 of Ramon Garcia.

Leonard Lofranco, another talent ripe for the pros, shot 33 and Mel Cubillo fired 29 points for Del Monte, the 2011 champ which got 28 each from Joven Lusterio and Noel Langamin.

Abdon, who plays in the local tour starting with the Splendido leg in a couple of weeks, also won a team championship for the first time in an Interclub career that started with Southwoods in his mid-teens.

“This is certainly sweet – to win the double (team and individual crowns),” Abdon said after his 3-over total counting his 71 at Binitin won the individual championship, said. “This is my first and last year with Orchard, but it certainly will be memorable.”

Orchard opened up with 129 points at Binitin on Wednesday and never lost ground the rest of the way, as the fielding of Montillano played a key role.

There were some who questioned the logic in playing Abdon and Raymund Sangil together in Day 1, and Montillano was quick to point out to the reason that other squads can learn from in the future.

“We wanted to start hot, build a lead and then work from there,” said Montillano, who got a 33 and 32 from Sangil both at Binitin.

Cebu CC sorely missed the services of Mark Dy and Lloyd Jefferson Go and floundered in its date with club history.

Marko Sarmiento shot 31 and Ramontito Garcia scored 29 as Cebu CC closed out with 114 after counting the 27s of Jovi Neri and Bayani Garcia. Andre Borromeo failed to count with 24.

Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club won the Founders division also in runaway fashion after posting 452 points.

Negros turned to old lion Francis Gaston who led scoring with 34 points. Other scorers were Chepe Dulay 31, Justin Limjap 31 and Max Javelona 30.

Manila Southwoods finished 19 points behind Negros in second place. Scoring for the Carmona-based team were Antonio Asistio 36, Vince Lauron 35, Theodore Pascual 26 and Jose Roy III 26.

Third place went to Wack Wack which finished with 404.

Final results:

Championship – Orchard 477, Alabang Country Club 459, Del Monte 453, Cebu Country Club
437, Greenhills West 231, MSU Golf & CC 226, Camp John Hay 217, Fil Oz
Sydney 215,  Anvaya Cove 213, Moffet Field 209, Figme UAE 162, Filipino
Golfers Kuwait 145

Sportswriter – Eagle Ridge 384, Lumbia 377, Club Filipino 376, Bacolod 360, Davao City
358, Iloilo 356, So Cal Redhawk 355,  Saranggani 348, Sherwood
Hills-Suntrust 339, Bay Area 330, Philippine Navy 327, Guinhalaran 326,
Pittsburg Fil Am 259, Fil Am Fairchild 240, PGA of BC 230, Baguio Country
Club 222, Leyte Golf 220, Greater Vancouver 177, Van City 166, South Bay
160
Founders – Negros Occidental 452, Manila Southwoods 433,  Wack Wack 404, Valley Golf
402, Riviera Golf 397, Alta Vista 395, Apo Golf 394, Rancho Palos Verdes
392,Forest Hills 392, Zamboanga 383, Sta Elena 381, Tagaytay Highland 377,
Villamor 374, Iligan 366, Mactan Island 361, Manila Golf 357, Pueblo De
Oro 346, Maharlika 273, Lanang 287, Yokohama Eagles 116

Friendship – Fil Am Hawaii 319, Victorias Golf 313, South Cotabato 312, Cotabato Golf
302, Pearl Kai Hawaii 300, Austral-Asian Golf 287, Mabuhay Golf of SF 262,
Up Tee Jots 260,  FGA Riyadh 256, Seattle 253, SF Crystal Springs 236,
Figme Dubai 236

This year’s Interclub is being co-sponsored by CrossOver with Boeing, Philippines Graphic, Stargate Media (People Asia) and Rogue as corporate backers. Also lending support are Airbus, Business Mirror, One Mega Group (Travel Now), Philippine Broadcasting Corporation, Manila Broadcasting Corporation and Manila Bulletin.(pr)