Toledo prepares physically, spiritually and psychologically for playoffs
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Toledo City Trojans have prepared differently for the playoffs of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup Conference set to begin Wednesday, July 20, 2021.
The Trojans are placed sixth in the south division playoffs despite being undermanned. The Trojans wrapped up the 34-round eliminations with 17 wins and 17 losses.
The team has been struggling in the middle of this conference after several of their players were not able to play.
In the playoffs, they will face a familiar foe in third seed Iloilo Kisela Knights, who are the south division champions in the inaugural conference earlier this year.
“Our preparation is more inclined to physical, spiritual and psychological aspects. We learn to let go of things that are barriers in moving forward and lift up all the challenges the team is facing to the supreme being,” said the playing team owner, Jeah Jean Gacang.
A team building activity was one of the things the team did to prepare for the competition.
“With the challenges the team was facing, especially in the middle of the second conference, the leaders, through the help of Virtual BizNest and Xignex Digital Solutions Inc., decided to take a break last weekend from chess,” said Gacang, who is a lawyer.
“There were no chessboards and no chess clocks during our team building for two days and one night at Summerhouse in Sogod, Cebu,” she added.
Gacang reminded her team that no matter what the outcome of their playoffs match against the Kisela Knights will be, their families will always be there to support them.
The team will be fielding in GM Amir Bagheri of Iran together with IM Rico Mascariñas, NM Rogelio Enriquez Jr., Jinky Catulay, Richard Natividad, Redentor Nailon, and FIDE Arbiter (FA) Felix Poloyapoy Jr in their match against the Kisela Knights.
“We believe that we’ve got this far for a reason. Win or lose, we will surely take away all the learnings we have especially during this colorful conference,” added Gacang.
Although the odds are stacked against them, Gacang believed that anything can happen when they are starting to push pawns. She believes that her team will do their best to beat a formidable opponent.
“All I can say is that they are a strong team and it is a privilege to be playing against them this quarterfinals. The good thing about chess is we are uncertain of what’s coming especially in blitz and rapid. Anything can happen. Somehow, the board is a great equalizer. We will surely do our best and enjoy the matches,” said Gacang.
The Kisela Knights is manned by NM Giovanni Mejia, Karl Victor Ochoca, Fiona Geeweneth Guirhem, NM Cesar Mariano, Dennis, Bernas, NM Fritz Bryan Porras, and Mark Jossel Mariano.
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