A wide-open race for the centerpiece Championship Division title in the 69th Philippine Airlines Interclub at Clark Field, Pampanga gets off the ground today, with Manila Southwoods seeking a rare repeat.
Canlubang returns to the tournament with a lineup that could very well pass as the national team; Orchard has a merry mix of young guns and experience; Del Monte will be parading members of its grassroots program and Cebu Country Club will be solid as ever as action starts at Mimosa’s Mountain View layout here.
Jobim Carlos, who will make the jump to the Asian Tour and local ICTSI circuit after this event, will be the focus of attention as he tries to come up with a great going away present and anchora triumphant return for the Sugar Barons, the tournament’s winningest team of all time.
Rupert Zaragosa is also seeing action for Canlubang, which took a leave several years ago when handicapping rules prevented the best players in the land from playing together in one team.
Justin Quiban and reigning club champion, 16-year-old Yuto Katsuragawa of Japan will be the aces of the defending champions, even as former pro Raymond Sangil anchors Orchard, the champion two years ago.
Cebu CC will still have its team of tested campaigners led by Carl Almario, Mark Dy and Eric Deen while Del Monte parades a squad led by the promising Jelmert Gamolo.
Katsuragawa is a rookie who is expected to shoulder a lot of the load for the Carmona-based squad and make it a dangerous side capable of springing an upset.
Luisita is another club that will make a first appearance in the centerpiece division for the first time in ages and it will feature a lineup built for the future in Basti and Santi Lorenzo and Dan Cruz.
Gab Manotoc, Carlo Villaroman, Carl Corpuz and Aidric Chan are the other young guns in the Canlubang lineup, with Abe Rosal coming out of retirement to provide a steadying presence and the much-needed Interclub experience.