Finally, Palawan-Albay entered the next phase of the third conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Saturday night. Despite splitting its last two matches, Palawan finished fifth with six wins and four losses in Southern Conference to advance.
Tension was rife when tailender Cebu spilled Palawan-Albay, 13-8 but Palawan-Albay edged Cordova, 11-10.
Palawan joined forces with Albay to bolster the team in the third conference. This allowed the team to put Tonette San Diego and Catherine Secopito, both of whom have Bicol roots, to play the bottom boards. The two Mendozas, Shania Mae and Beverly, would take turns manning the top boards while Nadera handled the middle boards.
This gave Palawan-Albay the flexibility to rotate its lineup, which was not present in the first two conferences.
Palawan-Albay joins 15 other teams in the Open Conference which starts on Wednesday. Joining them will be Pengcheng of China, Penang of Malaysia, a Thai team, a Singapore entry, Davao, the Philippine Paralympics squad, Pampanga, and Sunrays Junior. This will be a round-robin tournament.
Palawan-Albay will face Isabela and powerhouse Manila in Wednesday’s event.