Photo Caption: THE WINNERS. Francis Dizon with his Panagbenga Cup with some of the winners, from left tournament director William Caluza, United Scrabble Associations of the Philippines, Inc. president Larry Serrano, Kennedy Guzman (most flowery word), Dizon, second runner up Robbie Onate, best student player Yurika Unson and Abdul Suma.



After finding himself at near the bottom of the pile, Francis Dizon went on a rampage and registered a come from behind victory in the Panagbenga Scrabble Tournament at the Baguio athletic bowl Sunday. Nobody saw Dizon coming as he literally came back from the grave and slowly overtook the early leaders – Maxell Bashier and defending champion Abdul Suma – to win 12-4 win-loss and spread of 558 in the two day, 16 round tournament organized by the Baguio Benguet Word Builders Club.

After beating Cedie Manzano, 447-310, in the penultimate round, Dizon found himself at the top board and opposite Suma who dealt the “resident” board 1 player Bashier another beating to send the latter to board 2 and a final game confrontation with a late charging Robbie Onate. It was a bizarre ending for a rather one sided match early in the tournament with Bashier dominating as he zoomed to a 7-0 win-loss slate before Suma ended his streak in the eighth
and final round on day one. Bashier avenged his loss to Suma in Sunday’s opener but later found wins hard to come
by with the defending champion, and later, Dizon “ganging up” on him in the latter rounds.

It was a horrific 3-5 card for Bashier in the second half that was a complete reverse of Dizon’s path who was 2-3 in his first five games, including back to back defeats to this writer before making a 10-1 run that cupped him the beautiful Open Champion’s trophy. “I made a remarkable comeback (and went) through the eye of a needle, said Dizon, who started playing in Baguio in 2004 and even showing an evidence, a rack made by Huub Luyk for the 2004 National Scrabble Championship here at the SM City Baguio.

He added: “I won all my remaining games except in the 14th round where i took the driver’s seat temporarily.” He
said of his 465-365 win over Suma: “And then came the final round against our defending champion Abdul D. Suma. I upset him by a stroke of luck and everything falls in my favor. I guess my patience did it and your patience (newbies), playing will one day turn out to be a blessing.” Dizon started his climb in round six when he beat Arnold Aya-ay to start a 6-0 run including the round 11 454-409 win over Onate to see him improving to second spot in the king of the hill tournament.

He beat then “king” Bashier in the next two rounds, 448-429 and 428-378, that saw him take the top spot and face Bashier anew but lost 293-496 as he moved down to board two to face Manzano and win 447-310. Suma took second place with an 11-5 card and 573 spread, while Onate turned back Bashier, 451-267, to salvage third place with 10.5-5.5 card and 314 spread. Bashier, meanwhile, slipped to fourth spot, 10-6, 886. Manzano nipped retired police colonel Antonio Malonzo, 368-319, to take fifth place. Luyk was the best local finisher with a 9.5-6.5 card and 179 spread for sixth place, followed by another local, Christian Malinias (9-7, 502), Emilio Boroboran (9-7, 223), Malonzo (9-7, 207) and this writer (9-7, -66) to complete the top 10.

Senior high junior Yurika Unson finished with a 6-10 card and and -695 spread to win the student plum, while Kennedy Guzman has the “most flowery word” with DAHLIAS for 75 points. Bahsier had the high game award after a 609 and a 218 victory over Suma in their sixth game on round 11.


Amianan Balita Ngayon