Return of old Interclub format urged | Inquirer Sports
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Return of old Interclub format urged

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 02:00 AM March 02, 2015

CEBU CITY—Southwoods won the 68th edition of the Philippine Airlines Interclub Men’s Championship on Saturday with a team that, according to playing captain Thirdy Escaño, was far from the one originally set to see action.

“We left four kids behind because they had no PPAs (PAL Points Average),” Escaño, who has been playing in the Interclub for the last 36 years, told a handful of scribes. “I wasn’t even supposed to be here (playing).”

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Escaño, like several other team leaders, said that they would like to see the return of the old Interclub format that allows the best players to play and not limit the talent playing in the Championship division.

“This is a big event where the young ones should be playing,” Escaño said. “Old club members like us already had our time. We should expose the young ones to competitions like this.

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“This is the stage where our young players can earn their spurs,” Escaño said, recalling the days when Southwoods was bannered by Angelo Que, Artemio Murakami, Cookie La’O, Jerome Delariarte, among others, and they would battle an equally rock-solid Canlubang side led by Juvic Pagunsan, Jay Bayron, Jun Bernis and Boyet Zaragosa, among others.

“Those were the days when the level of play was at its highest,” Escaño said.

The Interclub has put a cap on the talent in the premier division for the last several years that supposedly made for a balanced field. The format allowed teams to field players with a handicap hovering somewhere at five per player.

But players like Rupert Zaragosa, the many-time national champion, has been kept out of the event because of a very low handicap that would have a team wishing to have him play enlisting someone with a high PPA to balance things out in the squad.

Royal Northwoods, coached jointly by former Junior World champion Carito Villaroman and ex-Asian Games gold medal winner Ramon Brobio, fielded a team made up of jungolfers and effectively got disqualified even before the first tee shot was hit.

Villaroman and Brobio’s players practically had no PPAs and the team played even if it was allowed to count just three of five scores everyday. Northwoods would have tied Orchard for second spot.

Escaño said that he wrote PAL a letter, asking for the return to the old format. Organizers replied they would “revisit” the matter in time for next year’s event, which could be held either in Davao or Bacolod.

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TAGS: Philippine Airlines Interclub Men’s Championship, Southwoods
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