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Pasig, Camarines cores headline PCAP All-Stars

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The inaugural PCAP All-Star Game will be more looked like Pasig vs. Camarines as the key players for both teams have been selected to the first staging of the upstart chess league's mid-season classic on May 2.

First announced in the Usapang Sports online forum on Thursday, six players from the King Pirates and five from the Soaring Eagles, who would capture the Southern Division title, will be part of the league's first All-Star teams as they were chosen through the fan votes.

Grandmasters Darwin Laylo and Roland Salvador topped the votes for the top rated players to lead the cast for the North All-Stars.

Women's FIDE Master Sherily Cua, on the other hand, won the vote in the female player category.

National Master Rudy Ibanez was number one in the senior player category, while Cromwell Sabado and Ferdinand Palermo got the nod in the homegrown players group.

The only non-Pasig player in the "First 7" is no less than top overall pick Eugene Torre.

Interestingly enough, the first Asian grandmaster, who was recently inducted to the Chess Hall of Fame, will be making his much anticipated PCAP debut in the All-Star Game as he sat out the entire All-Filipino Conference to take the role of head coach for Rizal.

Meanwhile, Camarines' Top 2, GM Mark Paragua and Ellan Asuela, will lead the way for the South All-Stars as they finished 1-3 in the all-star balloting.

For the senior side, NM Carlo Lorena got the nod, while Ronald Llavanes and Virgen Gil Ruaya won the votes for the homegrown players.

Only Iloilo's GM Joey Antonio and WFM Cherry Mejia got the other two fan vote nods.

Following the second round of balloting, in which the players and coaches get to pick who will complete the All-Star rosters, GM Banjo Barcenilla and FM AJ Literatus, who helped lead Laguna to the inaugural PCAP championship, will join the North All-Stars.

GM's Ino Sadorra and Oliver Barbosa and International Masters Paulo Bersamina, Rolando Nolte, and Jem Garcia filled up the remaining top rated player spots for the North.

Joining Cua for the female players are WIM Jodi Fronda, Michaela Concio, and WNM Karen Enriquez.

The other senior players joining the North All-Stars are IM's Ricky De Guzman and Cris Ramayrat.

John Paul Gomez, the other GM in the Heroes roster, has been chosen to the North All-Stars as well together with fellow homegrowns FM Deniel Causo, Genghis Imperial, and Mari Turqueza.

On the other hand, joining the South among the top rated players are IM Chito Garma, FM's Nelson Mariano III, Randy Segarra, and Vince Alaan, NM's Merben Roque and Erwin Retanal, and WIM Catherine Secopito.

Joining Mejia in the female side are WIM Badette Galas and AGM Kajoy Acedo.

Also part of the South seniors crew are IM Rico Mascarinas and NM Mario Mangubat.

Completing the South All-Stars are homegrowns IM Joel Pimentel, NM Zulfikar Sali, WIM Mikee Suede, Jason Bandal, and Ariel Potot.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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