PERPETUAL Help downed Lyceum of the Philippines University, 3-1, in the finals to clinch a historic first juniors’ championship in the 94th NCAA chess competition at the Malayan High School of Science Lobby in Otis, Manila over the weekend.
Carl Zirex Sato and Chris Pondoyo downed Jan Darryl Batula and Leonel Escote on boards two and three while Eric Labog, Jr. and John Anastacio drew with Earl Rhay Mantilla and Japeth Aaron Caresosa on boards one and our, respectively, to claim their very first crown.
The Junior Altas finally won it this time after coming close from ending its title drought a season ago when they eventually lost to the Letran Squires in the finals.
The Las Piñas-based woodpushers, who is mentored by FIDE Master Roel Abelgas, however, made sure the title will not slip from their grasp.
It was a feat that was witnessed by no less than NCAA and school president Anthony Tamayo and NCAA Management Committee chair Frank Gusi.
“We dedicate this victory to our school officials, sirs Antonio and Anthony Tamayo, the school, community and all the people who kept the faith,” said Abelgas, who later revealed this will be his last season to coach Perpetual Help.
Capping the Junior Altas’ dominance was Chris Pondoyo winning the board four gold medal and MVP plums.
Anastacio also took gold on board four while Abelgas was adjudged coach of the year.
Perpetual Help’s seniors’ team finished fifth in the event ruled by St. Benilde, which bested LPU.