Toledo Trojans: Early preparations key to team’s impressive form

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | November 22,2023 - 03:22 PM

Toledo Trojans chess

Toledo-Xignex Trojans team manager Jeah Gacang. | Photo from Gacang’s Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Early preparation and major adjustments were keys to the unprecedented success of the Toledo-Xignex Trojans in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup.

This was revealed by team manager, Jeah Gacang as the Trojans cemented their hold of the southern division’s No. 1 spot with only four remaining matches left before the much-awaited playoffs.

The Trojans have 18 wins and three defeats worth 284.5 points to rule the southern division since the early weeks of the tournament.

This is also a franchise record for the Trojans since the inception of the PCAP Wesley So Cup in 2020.

READ: Trojans lead PCAP’s south division team standings

Gacang credited the team’s meteoric rise to the team’s preparation for the tournament by tapping the services of one of Cebu’s finest woodpushers, Grand Master (GM) Richard Bitoon.

Joining GM Bitoon in the team are FIDE Master (FM) David Elorta, Women’s FM Cherry Mejia, National Master (NM) Edmundo Gatus, and the Trojans’ core roster of IM Rico Mascarinas, IM Kim Steven Yap, Bonn Rainauld Tibod, Christopher Tubalado, and Allan Pason.

“In anticipation of the GM Wesley So Cup, we made some strategic adjustments, enlisting seasoned players like Cebuano GM Richard Bitoon. We also adapted to a more analytical approach towards our opponents in this tournament,” said Gacang.

“Witnessing the team’s impressive performance makes me super proud and grateful to each one of them. Their dedication and commitment to giving their best in every game is inspiring.”

READ: Toledo beats Iloilo, Surigao to maintain lead in PCAP Wesley So Cup 

Besides their dominance in the team standings, the Trojans’ members also shone in the individual competition.

WFM Mejia and GM Bitoon are occupying the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the overall individual standings.

“The early success this season owes much to the standout performances of our key players. From our top-ranked Grandmaster Richard Bitoon and the leading PCAP lady player WFM Cherry Mejia to the strategic mastermind FM David Elorta, IM Kim Yap, IM Rico Mascariñas, NM Edmundo Gatus, and the steadfast consistency of Allan Pason, Christopher Tubalado, and our multitasker team captain Bonn Rainauld Tibod,” added Gacang who is also a lawyer.

Unlike their previous seasons where Gacang was pretty much reserved when predicting the outcome of their campaign, this time, she is very confident that they will reach the finals.

“I am confident in the Team’s potential to secure victories. Each member, under the Team’s guidance, has prepared comprehensively with determination. It’s an exciting journey towards the finals, and we are ready to enjoy the ride,” she said.

Also, Gacang added that the Toledo-Xignex Trojans’ success wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of John Signe of Xignex Digital Solutions, Inc.

The Trojans are currently scheduled to play against the No. 8 team Camarines Soaring Eagles and the No. 7 Arriba Iriga on Wednesday, November 22.


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TAGS: Chess, PCAP, Toledo, Trojans, Wesley So

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