The University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos chess team remains the squad to beat when the 32 nd Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports, Cultural and Educational meet opens on September 14.
Sweeping the college competition last year, the UNO-R men and women's teams are getting ready for this year's season, with the women's side staying intact while the men's group has a new member.
The trio of Western Visayas PRISAA veterans Christine Cabrales, Geveve Gallano, and Vaneza Galunan will be defending their crown against last year's first runner-up University of St. La Salle and second runner-up West Negros University .
UNO-R sports director and chess head coach Ericson Rios said he considers the USLS team as the strongest contender this year with veterans Kris Capistrano, Ruby Jade Ambus and rookie Adelaide Joie Lim in the cast.
The contest in men's category will be more exciting as all competing teams, including the two maritime schools, the John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation and the Visayan Maritime Academy , are fielding a strong lineup, Rios said. UNO-R edged WNU for the championship last year while USLS placed third.
UNO-R still has Archillaus Turno, Patrick Corda, Kevin Hilado and new recruit Renz Andador to defend the title after WVPRISAA campaigners Archer Son and Kenneth De Oca graduated in March.
Fielding their entries in the college men's chess competition this year are UNO-R, WNU, USLS, CSA-B, JBLCF, VMA, and Riverside College . Eyeing the title in women's bracket are UNO-R, USLS, WNU, CSA-B, JBLCF, and Riverside College .
Meanwhile, Maranatha Christian College will be defending its title in high school boys' chess, while WNU hopes to keep the crown in the girls' division.
Maranatha boys ruled last year's high school event with WNU picking up the first runner-up honors and Bacolod Tay Tung High School settling for second runner-up.
BTTHS placed second to WNU in the girls' category with St. Joseph 's School – La Salle at third.
In elementary chess, BTTHS are the defending champion in both boys and girls' divisions.
All games in this year's NOPSSCEA chess competition will be played at the WNU.*NAB
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