Tony Lascuna crumbled at the finish in sweltering heat and settled for a 71 but stretched his lead to two as Juvic Pagunsan likewise stumbled on his way home in the second round of the P1 million ICTSI Calatagan Challenge at the Calatagan Golf Club on Thursday.
Lascuna, who started the round just a stroke ahead of Pagunsan after an opening 67, pulled away early with a 33 as he went as low as nine-under with another birdie on No. 12. But he drove out of bounds on the par-5 13th and made a double bogey then flubbed a five-footer for par on 17th for a 38 and a 71.
Still, his 36-hole total of six-under 138 put him two shots clear of Pagunsan, who bounced back from a shaky 37 at the back with back-to-back birdies from No. 1 but made a bogey on the tough par-4 No. 5 for the second straight day to finish with a 72 and a 140.
Mars Pucay birdied two of the last six holes, including No. 17, to salvage a 71 for a 142 as he put himself in contention for the top P200,000 purse in the third leg of the 15-stage ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Jhonnel Ababa bogeyed his final hole on No. 9 for a 71 and missed joining Pucay at third.
He dropped to fourth at 143, five strokes off Lascuna, while Cassius Casas, out to snap a long slump, birdied two of the last five holes, including No. 18, to shoot a 70 and move to solo fifth at 146.
The rest of the surviving 41-player field hobbled with over-par scores at the up-and-down layout with Rufino Bayron carding a 73 for a 147 in a tie with Micahel Bibat and defending champion Mhark Fernando, who both had 75s, and Ruben Sasutil, who struggled with a 74.
Elmer Salvador, the former ICTSI PGT Order of Merit champion, shot a 71 to join the 147 group while Gerald Rosales (75), Rolando Marabe (72) and Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga (72) stood at 148.
Jay Bayron faltered with a 77 and was way behind at 152 while Tabuena rebounded from a woeful 80 with a 73 for a 153 and made the cut pegged at 155.