Hectic PCAP All-Filipino Cup fixtures beckon

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--In a format similar to that of the NBA, the geographical proximity between two PCAP teams will factor on the number of times they will face off in the elimination round of a certain conference.

According to Commissioner Paul Elauria, the 24 participating teams in the inaugural PCAP season have been divided into two groups of 12 depending on the town or province they are representing.

Like the MPBL, most of the mainland Luzon teams will comprise the Northern Division with the two Bicol clubs, Camarines and Iriga, and the two MIMAROPA teams, Palawan and Mindoro, joining their Visayas and Mindanao-based rivals in the Southern Division.

"All the Northern Conference teams will have a double round robin; Southern Conference teams double round robin also among themselves. And then we have inter-division games na single round robin," Elauria said on Monday.

This means each team will have 34 sets of games for the regular season alone.

The matches, however, will be played in rapid and blitz formats, which according to Elauria "will make the games more exciting."

He added, "The Top 8 of each division will enter the knockout phase. The champion of the North will face the champion of the South Division in the grand finals."

The matches will be played every Wednesday and Saturday starting Jan. 16 with some playdates having two rounds as PCAP looks to finish the All-Filipino Conference by the end of March.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the matches will be played virtually through online chess platform Lichess.

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