By NIMROD NL QUINONES
Cebu Country Club and Alta Vista Golf and Country Club remain in the hunt for podium finishes in the 70th Philippine Airlines Interclub played at the Apo Golf Club and the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club in Davao City.
Playing in the second ranked Founders Division, CCC, slipped to the third spot after surging to second in the second round, but continues to have a chance to pull the rug from under pacesetter Orchard.
Orchard has a total of 363 points on rounds of 123, 116 and 124 followed by Riviera at 355 (116-117-122) while the Cebuanos have 354 (113-122-119).
Playing for the second straight day in Apo, CCC was led by Bayani Garcia with one-over-par 35 points in the Stableford or PAL Points System. Also counting for the team total in the five-to-play, four-to-count format were Bayani’s cousin lawyer Jovi Neri with 30 and veterans Ramontito Garcia and Eric Deen with 27 apiece. The 26 of Marc Gonzalez did not count.
A close fourth is Apo with 352. Teams in the Founders group will be playing at the super stretched Rancho Palos Verdes layout on the final round.
CCC’s closers will be led by Julius Pierre ‘Pio’ Neri, who fired a tournament-best three-under-par 39 points during the first round. Completing the line-up will be Marko Sarmiento, Andre Borromeo, Ferdinand Chua, and Harvey Sytiongsa.
Orchard will be fielding three of their reliables in Aaron Dimabuyo, Ray Sangil, and Niko Santiano along with TJ Benitez and Rodel Mangulabnan.
Alta Vista remains in the thick of the fight in this new third-ranked division, which was introduced by the organizers only this year.
With the first two spots already a foregone conclusion as Sherwood Hills Golf Club with 320 (106-113-101) and Lumbia with 299 (106-105-88) practically assured of taking them, an exciting battle for third looms.
Alta Vista sits at third with 280 points on rounds of 93, 88, and 99 while Manila Golf is one back at 279 followed by Davao City Golf with 277.
Playing for the second straight day at Palos Verdes Friday, Alta Vista got a huge lift from the ever-reliable Gabriel yap with 28 points. Also counting for the total were Thomas Ngo with 26, Jerry Uyheng with 23, and Masahisa Kawakami with 22. Anton Pastoriza, the youngest in the team managed only 20 points, but the La Salle player hopes to bounce back on the final round in Apo Golf.
The same group will play on the closing day for the Pardo, Cebu City-based team.
Club Filipino de Cebu is also in this group and is running ninth out of the 14 teams. The Danao City-based squad has a total of 246 points on rounds of 74, 81, and 91.
Counting for the third round were Mandaue City Councilor Olin Seno with 31, Evans Tumaliwan with 24, Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia with 23, and Jose Angelico Abellana with 13. The 12 of Paolo Alberto did not count.
Manila Southwoods is the virtual winner of this premiere category with a three-day aggregate of 427 points on rounds of 136, 136, and 155.
The huge third round at Palos Verdes had all five players breaking par with Yuto Katsuragawa leading the team with six-under-par 42 points. Also counting for the team total were Liam Cully and Carl Corpus with 38 apiece and last to count was either of the 37s made by Jama Reyes and Aidric Chan.
Canlubang is a far second with 389 while Luisita is at third with 361.
Mactan Island Golf Club is grouped in this fourth-ranked group named in honor of the scribes who have been covering the tournament and is running fifth with an aggregate of 270 on rounds of 87, 99, and 84.
Sta. Elena leads the group with 292 points followed by Stanford with 280 while Zamboanga is at third with 276 and Navy is fourth with 274.
Mactan’s third round scorers were led by Pio Barandog with 24. Also counting for the team total were Armand Guangko with 23, Col. Gerry Catindoy with 21, and BGen Nick Parilla with 16. The 7 of retired general Bam Jamorabo did not count.
The MIGC squad played at Palos Verdes Friday and will close the tournament at Apo. The team that will play on the final round will be composed of Jamorabo, Jay-R Aguilon, Col. Elvis Jequinto, jungolf champion Russel Bautista, and retired Chief Supt. Ed Benigay.
The 70th PAL Interclub Platinum sponsors are Mareco Broadcasting Network, A&E Networks Asia, RMN Networks, The Manila Standard, Fox Networks Group, Rolls-Royce, TV5, MasterCard, TFC and Business Mirror.
Major sponsors include Asian Air Safari, Airbus, Primax Broadcasting Network and Sabre Airline Solutions while corporate sponsors are Baron Travel Corporation, Boeing, MX3, GE Aviation, Bombo Radyo Philippines, Asia Brewery, Tanduay Distillers, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tourism Promotions Board.
The donors are Shangri-La at The Fort, Trinity Insurance and Eton Properties.
A total of 83 teams are entered in the four-day, five-division event which ends Saturday.