Day 2 of the REEF Pro La Union was packed with some toes-on-the-nose action from the best longboarders in the Philippines as they surfed their way to claim the title of the first PSCT Men’s and Women’s Longboard Champions.
Benito Nerida (La Union) showed wave superiority at his homebreak, gliding through overhead waves and dominating every heat in the Longboard Division . Nerida is current PSCT #3 and one of the strongest contenders for the PSCT Men’s Longboard Overall Championship title. His impressive style, combining classic and high performance maneuvers, gained him a spot in the finals against Roger Casugay.
“The waves today were just right compared to yesterday’s. I’m happy that the judges gave me a score of 8.00 for the combinations I did,” said Nerida.
Meanwhile, crowd favorite Roger Casugay (La Union) secured his victory over Jeff Dela Torre (La Union) in a tight Quarterfinal battle and maintained his winning momentum all throughout the Semifinals against current PSCT Men’s Longboard #1 Mark Aguila (Baler). Marven Abat (La Union), who broke his board during his Round 1 heat, faced Loynex Ruina (Lanuza) in a nerve-racking Quarterfinals heat. The two surfers exchanged lengthy nose rides and utilized every inch of their board to gain the lead. During the five-minute mark, Abat got a solid long hang five and tried to go for a hang ten but failed. Ruina saw this as an opportunity and took a clean head-high wave. He executed a hang five and cut back combination to secure his win.
“I need to push my self more so I can advance to the finals next time,” said Abat. As an excellent surfer as well on a shortboard, we asked about his plans of focusing on the longboard category. He replied, “There’s a possibility that I might focus on longboard next season.”
Jefferson Ganuelas (La Union) managed to move to the Quarterfinals with a come-from-behind victory during his heat in Round 3.
“It was a challenge at first because I was in the fourth place until the last two minutes. I got a medium-sized wave with a critical nose-riding maneuver. I was surprised to be second after our heat. This is my first time to hear my score from the line-up and it feels like competing in an international surfing event. Because of PSCT, I think there will be more surfers who will be serious in achieving their goal of becoming a professional surfer. This event is a good gathering of all surfers in the Philippines where new and old ones meet,” said Ganuelas.
In the Women’s Longboard category , Siargao’s Agudo sisters, who are current PSCT #2 and #3, are moving to the Finals after putting up their well-known stunning classic longboarding style during their earlier heats. “This is my first time to surf here in La Union. I’m happy to be able to surf this spot. This is now my favorite. The waves were good and the sets were clean. I was able to get long rides. I hope the waves will still be this good during our Final heat in the coming days,” said Ikit Agudo. Maricel Pajares, also from Siargao, has managed to secure a spot in the Finals. “I’m so happy I made it to the finals. It’s my second time here in La Union that’s why I’m now more comfortable surfing at Monalisa Point,” said Pajares. PSCT Women’s Longboard #1 Daisy Valdez showed dominance at her homebreak, posting a score of 11.25 during her Semifinals heat. Valdez will go against the three Siargaonon ladies in the Finals.
In the Women’s Shortboard category, 14-year-old Vea Estrellado from Gubat, Sorsogon who travelled 24 hours by land to La Union secured a spot in the Finals after her solid performance against Siargao’s Dianne Nogalo and Pinky Alipayo. Estrellado will go against Ana Mae Alipayo, Jolina Uriarte and current PSCT Women’s Shortboard #1 Nilbie Blancada.