PERPETUAL Help leaned on victories by Carl Zirex Sato and Jerome Angelo Aragones to pull off a shock 3-1 victory over second seed San Beda and clinch the last spot to the championship round in the juniors’ division of the 93rd NCAA chess tournament at the Lyceum of the Philippines University Auditorium.
Sato, a prized recruit from Davao, downed Gal Brien Palasigue on second board, while Aragones trounced Alfredo Balquin, Jr. on fourth board as the Junior Altas forged an interesting title duel with the Letran Squires, the defending champions who hurdled the St. Benilde Junior Blazers in the semis.
John Marx Anastacio and Lou Anton Rivera drew with Brent Lenard Alanan and John Philip Oncita on the first and third boards, respectively, to complete the stunning triumph.
The Las Pinas-based chessers will try to complete their Cinderella finish as they tackle a heavily favored Letran, which beat the former, 3-1, in the eliminations.
“We dedicate this win to our school officials and people from Perpetual Help who supported us, we hope we could win in the finals,” said Perpetual Help coach Ruel Abelgas.
Perpetual Help wound up as the No. 3 seed, needing two wins to turn back San Beda and advance to the finals.
The Junior Altas did just that, winning their first semis showdown, 2-2, broken by a higher board win by Sato at board two, and then this most recent win.
Interestingly, Perpetual Help also defeated San Beda in the elims, 2.5-1.5, to complete the sweep.