BAGUIO CITY – What University of Baguio (UB) lost was a big gain for the Far Eastern University (FEU) which went on to win the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) chess tournaments in a sweep Sunday (Oct. 27).
“Sayang at FEU pinili niya (A pity she chose FEU),” said UB coach Ron Alvez, referring to former ward and Palarong Pambansa champion Bea Mendoza who joined the Morayta based squad after finishing senior high at UB last May.
“Grabe talaga ang recruitment ng FEU at nakuha ang mga magagaling , lalo na si coach [GM] Jayson Gonzales (It was an awesome recruitment for FEU which got the best players, especially coach [GM] Jayson Gonzales),” quipped Alvez, who for more than seven years honed Mendoza’s talent and made a home for her at UB.
“But I’m proud of her, very proud,” said the soft-spoken former Varsitarian who has become a top-notch trainer here.
Mendoza drew her last game at board two, even as Shania May Mendoza (no relation) won her game, while Marife dela Torre and Viona Nepascua also drew their respective games as FEU beat the University of Santo Tomas 2.5-1.5 for a 40-point total.
It was a close 1.5 margin victory over ousted defending champion De La Salle University which trounced Ateneo de Manila 2.5-1.5 for 38.5 points.
UST settled for third place with 36.5 points.
The former UB woodpusher took top honors inboard two as well as the top female rookie.
In her Facebook wall on Sunday, Mendoza wrote: “We achieved it because we got each other’s back.”
"Thank you, Lord, for giving us the opportunity to represent and prove ourselves in the UAAP Season 82 Chess Tournament. The tough and enduring battle showed that our win is a hard-earned success.
Our sacrifices and training paid off!” she added.
FEU’s men’s squad may have finally lost a round but still managed to win convincingly the title with 43 points and a whopping 7.5 points difference.
The Tamaraws lost to UST 1.5-2.5 in the last round that bolstered the latter’s hold in second place with 35.5 points. UST has Brylle Gever Vinluan in its line-up, another former ward of Alvez.
Vinluan moved to the National University to finish his high school before moving to España in the hope of getting his college diploma.
“He wanted to take up Electronics and Communications Engineering, that was why he moved to UST,” said Alvez, who recruited Vinluan to study at UB when he graduated from elementary in Pangasinan.
Alvez also mentored Grand Master elect and reigning national champion Haridas Pascua.
Alvez was hoping to have Mendoza in the UB squad to bolster its chances in the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League this season where Saint Louis University is the reigning women’s champion.
University of the Cordilleras is the men’s defending champion as games will be played on Nov. 16 and 17 at the University of the Philippines- Baguio. (PNA)