By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Four Cebu teams will be vying for honors as the 67th Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub tees off Wednesday at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club and Bacolod Golf Club in Negros Occidental.
Leading the cast of Cebuano teams is defending back-to-back champion Cebu Country Club, which remains as the tournament favorite in this event regarded as the national club championships.
The teams are classified under four divisions – Championship, Founders, Sportswriters, and Friendship based on the PAL Points Average (PPA) of the team members.
Cebu Country Cluc, with a PPA of 61.33 points has the highest among all participating teams this year.
A team can field a maximum of five players per round, but only the four best scores would count for the team total. No player must play more than two rounds within the four-day period.
The Stableford or PAL Points System will be used. This means six points will be awarded for a double-eagle, five for an ace, four points for an eagle, three for birdie, two for par, and one for bogey.
If a player misses his bogey attempt, he must pick-up to speed up play. A violation of such rule would result to a penalty to the team and not the individual player.
CEBU COUNTRY CLUB
Club president Ramontito Garcia, a veteran of many PAL Interclub tournaments, will be leading their attempt for a third straight crown.
He will be joined by ex-pro Carl Almario, and veterans Jovi Neri, Eric Deen, and Marko Sarmiento.
Other members of the team are reigning club champion Bayani Garcia, Andre Borromeo, teenager Gen Nagai, the comebacking Kiyofumi Takahashi, and rookie Harvey Sytiongsa.
The team will miss the services of some of their key players in the past two championships.
Mark Dy is now a professional golfer and is disqualified due to his status while Lloyd Jefferson Go and Gio Gandionco, who are both studying in the United States.
Their toughest rival in the battle for the overall title will be Del Monte Golf club of Bukidnon while Orchard Golf and Country Club and Alabang Golf and Country Club also pose as potential threats.
Neri told www.fullpointcebu.com that he will be playing Wednesday alongside Sytiongsa, Takahashi, Nagai, and Almario at Binitin.
ALTA VISTA GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
After the not so impressive performance in the PAL Interclub held in Cebu last year, the team hopes to bounce back this year especially with the layout of Bacolod Golf Club that is very similar to their course in the hills of Pardo, Cebu City.
Heading the team once again will be skipper Victor Gocela, who also saw action in the seniors’ event last week. Gocela suffered a shoulder injury in the second round of the seniors’ event but said that he is fit and ready for action in the men’s regular event.
The other members of the team are veterans Enrico Solon and Wendell Yap, Jun Zambo, Charlie Gaite, and young guns Marvin Mendoza and Sir Cross Abarintos. The youngest member of the team is 14-year-old Weiwei Gao, who has already competed in two PAL Interclub tournaments.
Completing the team will be rookies Aris Mata and Anton Pastoriza.
Bracketed under the Founders Division, the team hope to figure prominently this year. The team will be fielding Abarintos, Pastoriza, Zamboa, Gaite, and Gao at Binitin for the first round.
MACTAN ISLAND GOLF CLUB
Also grouped in the Founders Division is the team from the Mactan Air Base.
Major General Romeo Poquiz, who is also a rookie in the tournament, will lead the team.
It will be composed of reliable veterans Andrew Cañete, Pio Barandog, Marlo Cugtas, and Nilo Seno.
Other members of the team are military officers Elvis Jequinto and Gerry Catindoy, Arman Guangko, Hiroyuki Hasegawa, and rookie Jun Dayot.
Last year, the team finished as second runner-up in the third-ranked Sportswriters Division.
CLUB FILIPINO INCORPORADA DE CEBU
The fourth Cebu team in the tournament was the champion of the Sportswriters Division last year.
The team will be led once again by skipper Evans Tumaliwan.
Other members of the team are Veterans Razy Razon, Baltaire Balangauan, Teddy Almario, Andot Mondares, Peter Militante, Jufil Sato, and Victor Yuvallos.
They will be joined by comebacking Hector Almario and Raymund Garcia.
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, Petron and Manila Bulletin.
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