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Big guns sizzle early

Jorge Gallent and Junjun Plana have won the overall gross title in the last four stagings of the Mango Tee.

On Monday, the veteran duo was at it again, combining for 74 points to set the early pace in the 35th edition of the one of the country’s premier member-guest golf team tournaments at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.

Gallent took time off from his basketball coaching duties with San Miguel Beer and fired 3-under par 69, equivalent to 39 points under the Stableford scoring system.

Starting on the second hole, Gallent bogeyed the par-4 fourth, the hardest hole on the course, but recovered with birdie on 8. However, he failed to get up and down on the par-3 12th to fall back to 1-over.

Gallent eagled the par-5 13th to launch his fightback. He then birdied 14 and 17.

Photographs by JOEY SANCHEZ MENDOZA FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_joey
JORGE Gallent opens with 3-under par 69 to set the pace in the 35th Mango Tee at the Alabang Country Club.

“We played well today. The greens were great,” he said.

Gallent, who rushed to San Miguel’s team practice after the round, said basketball will remain his top priority.

“Basketball always comes first. If I finish my obligations in basketball, that’s the time I look for a round of golf,” he said.

Plana caught fire early, going 3-under through 12 holes. He countered a bogey on 4 with birdies on 5, 7, 9 and 10.

But he stumbled with bogeys on 14, 15 and 16 before picking up on 17.

He dumped his tee shot into the fairway bunker and hit his approach into the water.

Plana stopped the bleeding with a closing birdie on the first hole.

“Anytime you score under par as a team here is good,” the 55-year-old Manila Southwoods mainstay said.

“The course set-up is fair. If we can duplicate our score on Thursday, I think we have a big chance.”

Gallent and Plana lead the tandem of Dax Garcia and Ayon Sanchez by 10 points but the other fancied pairs have yet to see action in the 36-hole team event spread over six days.

The first batch of players were teed off shotgun-style in the morning with another set playing in the afternoon.

After the first session, two teams were tied in the overall net with 72 points apiece — Diosdado Bautista-Banjo Maddela and Ramon Opulencia
-Alex Palines which totaled 72 points apiece.

The event’s presenters are Smart, Petron, San Miguel, and Jewelmer.

The Turf Company, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Philippine Business Bank/Zesto, Merry Mart and Global Ferronickel are the major sponsors.

Also supporting the Mango Tee as premium sponsors are Unilab and Jewelmer.

Hole sponsors include Ayala Land, Asian Hospital, Tipsy Pig, Cotecna, Delta Neo/El Jardin, CTBC Bank, Golfers Clubshare, GG&A Clubshare, Alog Company, IQOS, iPrudential, 515 Group, Standard Insurance, Icoon Company, City Service, Pacsports, Srixon, Golf Depot, Airport House of Wine, Ralphs Wine, 357 Boracay, Omnisource, Prestige Golf Access and Clubshares, Inc., S&R, Mamalous, Bluesmith, Barcino, Fusion Pro, Primea Discovery, Marriot Manila and Courtyard Marriot.

Daily Tribune serves as the event’s media partner.

The leaders after the Monday morning session:
OVERALL GROSS — Jorge Gallent-Junjun Plana 74, Dax Garcia-Ayon Sanchez 64, Francis Tueres-Don Breganza 63, Lorenzo Guerrero-Miguel Velasco 55, Paolo Yupangco-Juan Jacobo Yupangco 50, Jake Corporal-David Ong 48, Diosdado Bautista
-Banjo Maddela 48, Marvic Sotto-Manuel Zarcal 41, Barry Tobias-Jesus Fernando Jr. 40, Rahul Singh-Atul Lall 40, Ronnie Suarez-Christopher Ruste 37, Armando Papa Jr.-Carlos Sison III 36, Jose Delgado-Gen. Edgar Aglipay 36, Jojo Velasquez-Nick Jorge 35.
OVERALL NET — Diosdado Bautista-Banjo Maddela 72, Ramon Opulencia-Alex Palines 72, Philip Lee-Marc Lee 70, Jorge Gallent
-Junjun Plana 70, Barry Tobias-Jesus Fernando Jr. 69, Rodolfo Plaza-Rodolfo Plaza Jr. 67, Rene Almeda-Rey Valdez 66, Paolo Yupangco-Juan Jacobo Yupangco 66, Dax Garcia-Ayon Sanchez 65, Angelo Herbosa-Vittorio Tagle 65, Marlon Diokno-Roberto Fabian 65, Andres
Espiritu-Rudy Nayve 64, Lorenzo Guerrero-Miguel Velasco 63, Francis Tueres-Don Breganza 63, Zorabell Medina-Abraham Rojas 63, Miguel Mendoza-Steeve
Almeda 63.

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