JESSIE Balasabas continued his bogey-free run at the North layout of Canlubang Golf, firing a five-under 67 on Wednesday for a five-stroke lead after the second round of the Canlubang Golf Invitational in Laguna.
The former amateur hotshot birdied three of the last four holes for an 11-under 133 total.
“I hit solid tee shots and hit 15 greens. I also putted well, so it’s pretty much like in the first round,” said Balasabas.
Cassius Casas and Dante Becierra added 70s to their opening 68s to share second place with Keanu Jahns, who fired a 68 after a 70.
Casas overcame poor form with good recoveries, saving par eight times, although he flubbed a couple of birdie putts from close range.
“I struggled but the good thing was I stayed in the hunt with good recoveries,” said Casas, who hit three birdies against a bogey. “I just hope to be able to close in tomorrow and put myself in contention in the final day.”
Clyde Mondilla fired a 69 and was six strokes off the lead at 139, tied with Jhonnel Ababa and Sherwood Hills leg winner Charles Hong, who both shot 69.
Zanie Boy Gialon, who started the day just one shot behind Balasabas, never recovered from a bogey start and fumbled with three bogeys against the same number of birdies to finish with a 73 and eighth spot at 140.
Robert Pactolerin carded a 70 for a 142, same as the totals of Marvin Dumandan (72), Mhark Fernando (73), and Japanese amateur Yuto Katsuragawa (72).
Summit Golf Classic winner Arnold Villacencio bounced back from a disastrous opening 76 with a five-under 67 but was 10 strokes off the lead with 36 holes left to play in the P1.5 million tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, KZG and Rudy Project.