By Adrian Stewart Co
Iloilo Kisela Knights secured the services of four veteran wood pushers during the recent Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) draft held virtually.
Grand Master Joey Antonio, Woman Fide Master Cherry Ann Mejia, Ilonggo and National Master Cesar Mariano, and Karl Victor Ochoa were among the players picked by the Knights.
Other members of the Iloilo-based chess squad were National Master John Michael Silvederio from Oton, Iloilo; National Master Fritz Brian Porras from Guimaras; and Dennis Bernas, also from Iloilo.
Knights founder and owner Leo Sotaridona said he was happy with the team’s acquisition during the draft as all of them have the potential to deliver a win on their respective boards.
“With a good start, we are happy to share the news to the Ilonggos and Guimarasnons. We need a solid support from the Iloilo City government and provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras,” Sotaridona said.
“It is a must for a long-term sustainability. These chessers need support as they represent Iloilo and Guimaras. As what we have envisioned, we want to create GMs in the future,” he added.
Nine GMs, led by Ilonggo Eugene Torre, who was selected by the Rizal, were among the 96 picked by 24 participating teams in the league that unfurls on January 12 next year.
Other GMs chosen were Julio Catalino Sadorra (Manila), Mark Paragua (Camarines), John Paul Gomez (Cabuyao), Darwin Laylo (Pasig) Banjo Barcenilla (Cabuyao), Oliver Barbosa (San Juan) and Roland Salvador (Pasig).
Twenty four teams from all over the archipelago took part in the inaugural draft and tournament from PCAP. The draft will go through at least five rounds./ASC, WDJ