24 clubs to join inaugural PCAP staging

Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) founding commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra, Commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masanguid, and GAB legal division chief Atty. Ermar Benitez during the announcement of PCAP going to be a professional sports league. GAB (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Clubs representing 24 areas will take part in the first season of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines.

PCAP revealed on Friday night that 16 squads from Luzon, six more from Visayas, and another two from Mindanao will be joining the league's inaugural edition starting on Jan. 12.

Leading the way for the woodpushers up north are the Antipolo Cobras, who own the first overall pick of the draft slated for Sunday.

Looking to show their grit as well for Luzon are a second squad from Rizal and teams from San Juan, Cabuyao, Camarines, General Trias, Cagayan, Manila, Mindoro, Iriga, Olongapo, Caloocan, Isabela, Pasig, Palawan, and Quezon City, which will host the draft proceedings.

Meanwhile, four teams from Cebu headline the Visayan teams.

Two of them, Lapu-Lapu and Cordova, actually bear the same Warriors moniker with Naki and Dagami respectively added to the official names to distinguish them from each other.

Also trying to make the Cebuanos proud are the Toledo City Chess Miners and Cebu City Machers.

Looking to spoil the Cebuano domination are Iloilo, which has the number two pick, and Negros.

Zamboanga and Surigao make up the Mindanao representation in PCAP Season 1.

Meanwhile, unless Antipolo pulls off a surprise, Eugene Torre looms to become the top pick of the first PCAP Draft.

The 69-year-old chess star, Asia's first grandmaster in the sport, will surely be a huge acquisition for the team that will eventually select him.

If ever the Cobras indeed pass on Torre, however, they still have a bevy of male GM's to choose from in Mark Paragua, Joey Antonio, Rogelio Barcenilla, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez, Oliver Barbosa, and Julio Sadorra.

Twelve male international masters, 16 other titled men, and nine female players also applied for the draft.

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