Iloilo has the most number of national qualifiers after four players from the province finished in the top two of their categories at the end of the 2013 National Age Group Chess Championships – Visayas held Jan. 9 to 12 in Cadiz City .
Eight-year-old Gil Casa Jr. of Santa Barbara Iloilo and Cyril Felrod Telesforo will lead Iloilo 's campaign in the national finals after dominating the boys' Under 10 and Under 12 categories.
Casa registered 6 straight points in the tournament to edge Guimaras' Adrian De Luna, who settled for first runner-up honors, while Kirk Jan Ogapong of host Cadiz City finished second runner-up.
In the boys' Under 12, Telesforo beat Negrenses Kenneith Allen Balloallo of Talisay City and Aeron Keife Charles Sinining of Escalante City to secure the top spot.
Iloilo also earned another seat to the national finals as Telesforo's sister Chacy Aliena ranked second in girls' Under 10 and 8 after falling behind Danao City 's Methusellah Hoban in the final ranking. Jasia Dorogo of Cebu slipped to third place to bow out of contention.
Completing the four-player Iloilo team to the grand finals was Fiona Geeweneth Guirhem, who managed to secure the second spot in the girls' Under 14-12 behind Sagay City 's Natori Biazza Diaz, while Escalante City 's Manilyn Cabungcag placed third.
Meanwhile, three players from Cadiz will also see action in Manila after hurdling their respective assignments in the qualifying round.
Cadiz finished strong in the boys' Under 16 as John Vincent Merabe and Robert Ace Cabras finished first and second, while Spencer De Gusman of Escalante landed at third place.
Kristel Shayne Herrera of Cadiz team also reigned in in girls' Under 20 and 16 to advance to the national finals, along with second placer Adelaide Joie Lim.
Other finalists are Mark Jay Bacojo of Silay City and Jerish John Velardo of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu in boys' Under 8; Valerio Mangubat of Canlaon City and Jeffu Dorog of Cebu in boys' Under 14, and Fritz Bryan Porras of Guimaras and Gintle Khey of Escalante in boys' Under 20.
Winners in the grand finals will be representing the province in the 2013 ASEAN-Age Group in Bangkok, Thailand on June 8 to 17 and the 2013 Asian Youth Chess Championships in Mashdad, Iran on June 20 to 27.*NAB
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