Oro boys-powered FEU now back as UAAP chess kings

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Friday, February 28, 2014


CAGAYAN de Oro ace Lennon Hart Salgados returned to board one position and skippered the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in regaining the men's crown of UAAP Season 76 chess tournament concluded last Sunday at De La Salle's Enrique Razon Sports Center in Metro Manila.

Along with season MVP Kevin Mirano and fellow Kagay-anons Alfredo Rapanot and Antonio Chavez Jr., the Salgados-led Tamaraws defeated reigning champion University of Santo Tomas (UST) and early round tormentor Adamson University in the last two rounds to wrest back the title the Morayta-based woodpushers were held then for six-straight years.

The Tamaraws of coaches GM Jayson Gonzales, IM Yves Ranola and NM Alex Milagrosa actually sealed the crown in the penultimate 13th round after a big win over the UST Growling Tigers. But they never rested in seeking payback against Adamson University in the 14th and final round by scoring a convincing 3.5-.5 victory on four boards.

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FEU amassed 39.5 points, 6 points ahead of second-running Adamson University (33.5 pts).

“We’re so thankful that we did not crack under pressure after suffering an early defeat in just our second match of the first round. Our two key players (IM Richelieu Salcedo III and Sheider Nebato) were not with us to play this season mao nga bigay-todo gyod among paningkamot,” the young father Rapanot told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro via text messaging.

“We reconsidered an old but effective strategy nga kontrolon lang ni Lennon ang labanan sa top-board unya kami na ang bahala sa ilalom,” added Chavez, Salgados' childhood buddy in brgy. Bonbon, who will be graduating this semester.

The former Corpus Christi standout Salgados, among the latest recruits of the Philippine Air Force chess team, also played board one when he debuted with the Tamaraws as UAAP's Rookie of the Year some years ago.

It was the FEU men’s seventh title in the last eight seasons for a league-best 14 championships.

National University's Austin Literatus of Davao City is the top rookie in men's division.

Meanwhile, La Salle completed a four-peat in women's division after a 4-0 rout of Ateneo enroute to a 44-point finish.

La Salle's Jan Jodilyn Fronda copped her third MVP award while teammate Bernadette Galas won Rookie of the Year honors.

The Lady Maroons finished in second place with 38 points.

The NU Bullpups, on the other hand, copped the juniors championship, finishing with a 14-round total of 34 points, three points ahead of the Baby Tamaraws.

Daryl Unix Samantila of the Baby Falcons clinched the MVP honors, while the Rookie of the Year honors went to the Bullpups' Jayson Danday. (LSS)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 28, 2014.

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