Zanieboy Gialon carries three-stroke lead into final round at Calatagan
Zanieboy Gialon hopes to hold on and end a three-year title drought.

ZANIEBOY Gialon fired a 66 to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the ICTSI Calatagan Golf Challenge on Friday at the Calatagan Golf Club in Batangas.

Gialon came up birdied three of the last four holes to get to 11-under 205.

Tony Lascuña also shot a 66 card for a 208 aggregate for solo second.

Rufino Bayron shot a 67 to take third spot at 209, while brother Jay carded a 71 for a 211 total.

Jhonnel Ababa, who started the third round tied with Gialon for the lead, struggled to a 73 and tumbled to joint fifth with Clyde Mondilla and American Nicolas Paez at 212.

Mondilla, seeking a third straight title after victories at Southwoods and Villamor, shot a 69, while Paez birdied two of the first four holes and eagled No. 13 but made two bogeys for a 70.

Jun Bernis turned in a second straight 70 and stood at 213 while Jerson Balasabas and Gerald Rosales tied for ninth at 214 with a 71 and 73, respectively.

“It’s been a long while. I just hope I’ll be blessed with a win again tomorrow,” said Gialon, who expects the pressure to mount early but vowed to stay focused on his bid to end a three-year title drought and claim the top prize of P450,000 from the P2.5 million pot of the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“I didn’t expect to lead, more so by 3. But I’m hitting it pretty well and hope to sustain it,” he added.

Lascuña remained confident of pulling off a come-from-behind victory for a follow-up to his win at Eastridge in April.

“Three strokes is nothing at Calatagan. But it’s going to be tough. I have to minimize my mistakes and make the most of the birdie opportunities,” said Lascuña.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph