BACOLOD CITY – Canlubang captured its 10th Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub title in 12 years Sunday and offered it to a team member who passed away last December.
“This is for Mike,” said Canlubang captain Luigi Yulo, referring to Miguel Preysler, a former national player based in Spain.
After a forgettable performance last year in Davao, Preysler vowed to return, but nine months following his return to Spain, he died of stomach cancer.
“We didn’t know about his condition, but it was uncharacteristic of him to play badly,” said Yulo, referring to the 37 points Presyler made in the first round at Mt. Apo.
Canlubang rode on Abe Rosal’s 50 points to beat Luisita by eight points.
Rosal was even par through 16 holes before picking up on the 17th and settling for bogey on the 18th off the greenside bunkers.
The Sugar Barons also drew 46 from Zaldy Villa and the 44 from either Rolly Viray or Damasus Wong to return with 140 and 573 overall.
Seven points behind before the start of the round, Luisita failed to mount a rally and virtually threw in the towel as early as the 12th hole.
As the players walked to the tee mound of the 13th hole, Luisita skipper Jeric Hechanova walked over to Yulo to offer his hand in congratulation.
“Their young players are the ones who came through,” said Hechanova, referring to Abe and Pem Rosal, Wong and Villa. “We will rise from this defeat and try to win it back next year.”
Eddie Bagtas, who fired 52 points at Binitin in the second round, struggled with 44 points.
Benjie Sumulong was Luisita’s top scorer with 50 followed by Rodel Mangulabnan with 45.
Del Monte outscored both Canlubang and Luisita in the final round with 148 points, but still settled for third with 549.
Yoyong Velez shot the day’s best score of 52 to win the individual crown. Del Monte also collected a pair of 48s from Raul Minoza and Arnido Callo.
Since winning its first crown in 2006, Canlubang has lost only twice, a testament to its pool of talents and experienced coaching staff.
“We thought that Luisita made a poor decision sitting out Bagtas in the third round,” said Yulo. “He should have played at Binitin.”
The Interclub’s Platinum sponsors this year are Primax Broadcasting, RMN and Fox, while major sponsors are Business World Publishing, Rolls Royce, TV5, Philippine Standard.
Other sponsors include Boeing, Under Armour, Eton Properties and Asia Brewery.(pr)