TUSOK BALITA ONLINE - A Publication of the National Darts Federation of the Philippines
Top Stories in Darts 2013
Updated January 03, 2014
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Lourence Ilagan wins The World Soft Tip grand finals in Hong Kong.  The Gunner not only got his biggest payday in darts, he also became the first Filipino to win a world title.  World title ito ha, hindi lang basta-basta regional open championship in Asia where a number of Pinoy darts regularly win.  In the top 4, Lourence met the illustrious and top BDO British darter Stephen Bunting and defeated him 3-1 in a superb strategic game. 

His opponent in the finals is but natural and fitting - his archrival Ian “The Titan” Perez.  Both darters played outstandingly and brought recognition and acclaim to the prowess of Pinoy darters worldwide.  In the postgame interview by Dartslive, di maiwasan tanungin si Lou about his countrymen and his foremost opponent, Ian.  Lou as always, was gracious in victory and praised Ian whom he says is younger, a very good darter, and will surely win his own share of championships.  Magkadikit talaga ang bituka nitong dalawa.  Parang Crispa-Toyota and Ateneo-La Salle rivalry.  Nilipat lang nila ang kanilang bangayan sa mas malaking stage.  And the question everyone has been asking for over five years – Who is the best darter between the two?  Me thinks for 2013, no doubt my hands down winner is The Gunner. 

Speaking of the Titan, Ian Perez got off to a slow start in 2013.  In March, he won one championship in Banga, South Cotabato and it was downhill from then.  In Araw ng Dabaw last March, he only made it to the Top 16.  In June’s Robson Summer Dartfest, he reach the top 32, losing to the up and coming Zambales youth player, Paolo Nebrida.  And in August, during the Tsadarts 2013 in CDO, he was booted out of the top 16.  Not one to make excuses, he did not blame it to adjustment blues from his new soft tip dart pin – the Robson Grip-X Torquest.  I spoke with him lengthily in CDO and he said not to worry.  It’s the ending that counts, and he made his statement stick.  He won the Kadayawan Festival, the Talakudong tourney, and Stage 7 of The World Soft Tip in succession.  Stage 8 saw him in the top 4 – the only Pinoy darter left standing.  And for the 2nd year in a row, The World Soft Tip Grand Finals where he finished runner-up.  Ian’s famous advice to the darters – have the will to win.  Maski runner-up ka lang in 2013, you’re a winner – Ian The Titan Perez. 

The Ladbrokes Philippine Qualifier became an embarrassment of titanic proportions.  From the start, so many problems already hounded the tournament.  The previous 4-provincial elimination process was scrapped, much to the dismay of non-Manila darters.  The date, venue, and rules of the game were announced very, very late - almost 2 weeks before the actual game start.  The games though were very exciting and top notch.  The eventual winner, Edward Santos was a worthy champion.  And to top all the woes of this problematic PQ was the withdrawal of Edward Santos from the Ladbrokes competition due a mix-up in the playing schedule with The World Grand Finals.  He was replaced by a British player and the country lost its representative to the biggest and most prestigious dart tournament in the world.  This got the ire and anger of Pinoy darters and supporters all over until this day. 

The year-ender big tournament in Davao saw a spectacular 9-darts finish in the Open Singles Championship, thrown by The Cool Cat Alexis Toylo.  Lextoy, all of 21 years old from my beloved Cagayan de Oro, threw superb darts and beat PJ Jugo of Manila in the pressure-packed semi-finals game.  Alexis has been playing darts for only three years.  He is a soft-spoken lanky guy who tagged along with the more popular Youth players from CDO, Dodo Guangco and Jon Jon Lucanas.  He broke out in December 2010 when he won the Youth Singles in the P300K Manny Pacquiao tournament in General Santos City.  Kinuha siya ng beteranang Henry Rivera at sinama sa Alfonso I Team.  Tuloy-tuloy na ang pamamayagpag ng bata who is also known as Pangag (no front teeth) in CDO.  He has the softest hands among the darters I know.  When I asked him about it, he claims that his elder sister takes care of his dirty clothes and he does not do any laundry.  In the ill-fated Ladbrokes Philippine Qualifier, he was the losing finalist to Edward Santos.  Malas lang talaga coz literally he was just one game away from going to London, England.  For The Cool Cat or Pangag or Lextoy, the future is very bright out there.  Keep hitting the boards and your time will surely come. 

More dart stories to follow…

DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 21, Sept 04, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 20, July 11, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 19, June 05, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 18, May 19, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 17, April 14, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 16, March 12, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 15, February 19, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 14, February 07, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 13, January 15, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 12, January 03, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 11, December 09, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 10, November 29, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 9, November 20, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 8, October 17, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 7, September 16, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 6, September 02, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 5, August 28, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 4, August 22, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 3, August 15, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 2, August 11, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 1, August 02, 2013