Nine-time champion Canlubang is looking for redemption when it renews its storied rivalry with Luisita in the 32nd Philippine Airlines (PAL) Senior Interclub golf team championships next month in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.
Denied a third straight championship by Luisita in Davao last year, the Sugar Barons are extra motivated to return the favor.
“We are going to do this for Mike,” said veteran Rolly Viray, referring to Spanish champion Mike Preysler who passed away last December.
Preysler, who took the spot of Tommy Manotoc in the lineup, had a disappointing showing last year in Davao where Canlubang slumped to its worst start ever.
The Sugar Barons struggled with just 124 points at Apo Golf and Country Club and found themselves trailing their rivals by 21 points.
Still down by 22 going into the final round, Canlubang managed to trim the deficit to 11 at the close of the four-to-play, three-to-count event.
This year, Viray said they hope to lift the trophy again, noting that Marapara (now known as Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club) and Binitin (Bacolod Golf Club) do not give long hitters much advantage.
For the second straight year, Manotoc is not playing, but Canlubang has tapped the services of a United States-based player who just turned 55 years old.
“Pem is coming to play for us,” said Viray, referring to Abe Rosal’s younger brother. “Sabi ni Abe, mas magaling daw kesa sa kanya.”
Abe Rosal won the individual title in his senior debut last year.
Aside from Viray and the Rosal brothers, the other members of the squad are Damasus Wong, Dave Hernandez, Mari Hechanova, Zaldy Villa and Abe Avena.
The seniors’ event, which serves as a prelude to the PAL Men’s Interclub, will be on March 1-4.