North stars carry three-point lead into final-day singles of The Duel
Miguel Tabuena lines up a putt as Joenard Rates looks on. 

NORTH sustained its form in team play and knocked down South on Thursday in foursomes, 4-2, and need only five victories in the final-day singles to win The Duel – North vs South crown at the Camp John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City.

Mars Pucay and Ira Alido scored their second victory of the meet, winning 1-up over Jhonnel Ababa and Zanieboy Gialon.

Miguel Tabuena and new partner Joenard Rates scored an emphatic 6 and 5 victory over Rufino Bayron and Orlan Sumcad to lead the Northerners’ second-day romp in the country’s version of the Ryder Cup.

The North leads by three, 7 ½ to 4 ½, with 12 singles matches set on Friday.

Tabuena and Co. are trying to regain the trophy it last won in 2013.

“I trust my players and we had learned our lesson from our last experience. We need only to win five matches so we’ll try to finish them off early,” said North skipper Artemio Murakami.

Tabuena is scheduled to play Sumcad in the first singles match, with rookie Alido mixing it up with veteran Mhark Fernando next even as Rates goes for a sweep of his three matches when he takes on Ababa.

Gerald Rosales and Elmer Salvador will clash next, followed by the match between Keanu Jahns and Tony Lascuña.

Justin Quiban battles Jerson Balasabas, Randy Garalde faces Gialon, James Ryan Lam takes on Clyde Mondilla, Michael Bibat plays against Rufino Bayron, Pucay squares off with Cassius Casas, Benjie Magada battles Rene Menor and Jobim Carlos takes on Jay Bayron.

“Don’t be surprised if we win again as we did the last time out,” said Team South captain Charles Hong, referring to South’s fightback from five points down, winning nine singles matches to rule the fourth edition of the event.

“With my players, I don’t need to motivate them since they are already motivated and talented. We know we can win this again.”

Mondilla and Lascuña ripped Rosales and Quiban, while Jay Bayron and Salvador blasted Magada and Lam to deliver the two wins for South in foursomes.

The Jahns-Garalde and Bibat-Carlos pairs delivered the two other wins for Team North over the Menor-Fernando and Balasabas-Casas tandems, all via 5 and 4 scorelines in the meet organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments and sponsored by ICTSI.

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