Jufil Sato

Jufil Sato

Jufil Sato fires 46 points for Cebu CC. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The team under the radar slowed down considerably on Friday, and pre-tournament favorite Luisita cranked up its machine in a way it liked heading into the final round of the Philippine Airlines Seniors Interclub championship at Alta Vista.

Cebu Country Club (CC), playing in the lower Founders division, got that prize in the bag after a third round 133 built around the eight-over-par 80s worth 46s from Carl Almario and Jufil Sato at Club Filipino in Danao, but the Cebuanos will have to fend off the Luisitans, who gained ground despite fielding a roster that could have been a lot stronger.

Luisita tallied 138 after 48 points from Benjie Sumulong, 46 from Ronnie Littaua and 44 from Demi Saclot, as non-playing skipper Jeric Hechanova sounded happy by coming within just two points of the overall title race.

“We are happy and confident because we have a very solid team tomorrow,” Hechanova said of his fourth round team to be made up of Chino Raymundo, ex-pro Dan Cruz, Steve McDonald and veteran Rodel Mangulabnan, which will play the up-and-down, well-manicured course.

“Our lineup for four days, it seems, is working’” Hechanova added. “The game plan for today was to not be left behind by that much. But we were lucky and fortunate that we sliced the lead of Cebu.”

Now 10 down

Defending champion Canlubang continued its slide, pooling its week-worst 125 after Abe Rosal accounted for 48, Zaldy Villa 41 and Rene Unson 36 to be 10 points behind in the centerpiece race even as Manila Southwoods put itself in the mix.

The Carmona-based bets will open the final 18 just seven points down after amassing 134 built around the 48 of Jun Jun Plana and 46 of Joseph Tambunting. The third Southwoods score was either 40s of Thirdy Escaño and Theody Pascual.

Eric Deen, Nelson Yuvallos, Kyu Ok On and Jay Yuvallos, the quartet that pooled a second round 140 on Thursday, will be the team that will try to finish the job for Cebu CC.

Cebu CC, which also won a Regular Men’s division title playing in the Founders several years back, is now 33 points ahead of The Orchard in the lower bracket.

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