Southwoods hangs on for 13-point win as rebuilding begins
CEBU—Manila Southwoods retained the Philippine Airlines Interclub men’s championship as expected after a calm Saturday at Cebu Country Club here.
Starting next week, though, the rebuilding begins with a total of six players from its talented stable turning professional and with Eastridge emerging as a legitimate force after checking in second just 13 points behind the talent-laden Carmona-based squad.
Closing out with a pedestrian 133 after getting a level par 72 worth 36 points from pro-bound Josh Jorge, 34 from Gab Manotoc and 33 from Kristoffer Arevalo, Southwoods’ eighth title after a 72-hole 534 didn’t come in the same swashbuckling way as the others before this as Eastridge threatened until the very last player.
Alex Bisera fired 37 points, Jhonie Quibol and Joachim Yu had 35 apiece and Edison Tabalin accounted for 37 for a 139 as Eastridge, playing in the Championship division for the first time, practically announced itself as one of the teams to beat starting next year.
“It’s back to the drawing board for us,” Southwoods non-playing skipper Thirdy Escaño said after the celebration died down as the next team gathering will, for all intents and purposes, will serve as a going away party for Manotoc, Arevalo and Jorge.
Jeff Chung, Carl Corpuz and Aidric Chan, who didn’t play here, will all turn pro, leaving a gaping hole in the Southwoods program.
“A win is still a win,” continued Escaño, who also didn’t hold back praise for Eastridge. “Give them more opportunities to play in tournaments like this, they can be a force in the future.”
Cebu Country Club stumbled with a 122 over its home course, checking in third 23 points behind Eastridge and just 16 ahead of Del Monte.
“This is a good experience for most of the players. To place runner-up is a bonus and motivation for all of us to do better next time,” said Eastridge COO Gimo Asuncion, who had nine of his 10 players playing a team format for the first time.