ANDRES Saldaña fired a two-under-par 70 to remain on top, while Rupert Zaragosa inched closer with a 69 in the second round of the 19th WExpress-DHL RVF Amateur championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation on Wednesday at Canlubang Golf and Country Club in Laguna.
The left-handed Saldaña, playing out of Alabang, had four birdies and two bogeys for the day for a 36-hole 138 for a three-stroke lead.
Former national champion Zaragosa started the day four strokes off but trimmed the deficit by shooting five birdies against two bogeys for a 141 total.
Del Monte’s Magno Arancon was seven strokes off the pace after a 71 in the PLDT Group Amateur Tour event.
Mel Cubillo and John Kier Abdon, joint second at the start of the day, both fired 74 and remained tied but slipped to fourth at 146.
Justin Quiban, who played for the first time for the Philippine team in the Southeast Asian Games last year, had a 70 and was tied with Kristoffer Arevalo, nine shots off the leader.
Arevalo, the reigning world 13-14 age-group champion, added a 75 to his opening 72.
Raymart Tolentino and the long-hitting Miggy Yee were at 148 after a 74 and 73, respectively.
Leonard Lofranco of Del Monte fired a 72 and Cebu Country Club’s Gen Nagai had a 74 and were tied at 149.
Ladies play started on Wednesday, with the multi-titled Pauleen del Rosario firing an eagle-aided 70 for a six-shot lead over Daniela Gonzales.
Amelia Legaspi shot a 77, while Daniella Uy, Ahn Suji and Korea’s Huang Ming-jong scoring 78s in the event backed by Pancake House, Golf Depot and Pacsports.