GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island— Two local surfing stars in the country have continued their dominant run in the last three days of intense competition, both taking convincing wins on Tuesday.
From 115 international surfing participants, including 15 Filipino surfers, the field has narrowed down to 16 players vying for titles at the 23rd Siargao International Surfing Competition.
The Filipino duo of John Mark “Marama” Tokong and Edito “Piso” Alcala continued their winning streaks, with Alcala—the 2014 champion—looking to be the man to beat.
Alcala posted yet another round high heat total of 16.20 (out of a possible 20).
Tokong seems to be able to will waves that no one else can, finding some of the best waves of the morning to take out in his heat 2 of round four just above Portugal’s Nic Von Rupp.
“Experience definitely helps on days like today,” Tokong said.
Tokong, the 2015 champion who will turn 22-years-old on Sept. 29, said he will have to rest to prepare for the round five on Thursday (Sept. 28). He showed no mercy against tough foreign rivals that included Gabriel Farias from Brazil and Harley Ross from Australia.
Homegrown surfer Edito “Piso” Alcada remained formidable in his heats, beating Indonesian surfer Rio Waida and Hawaiian Barron Mamiya.
Alcala will vie with Australian surfer Blake Thornton, French surfer Nelson Cloarec and Portugees Nic von Rupp on the heat number 5 in the last round of the elimination.
Tokong will be fighting against Jhonny Corzo from Mexico, Mitch Parkinson of Australia and Tomas King from Costa Rica.
The 2017 Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Qualifying Series 3000 points, expected to conclude on Sept. 29, is a World Surf League sanctioned event.
As the finalists narrowed down to 16 surfers, Filipino and foreign surfing fans alike hope for the best from the two local surfers.
“We are praying that Filipino will win this competition,” said Swiss-Italian businessman Gianni Grifoni, the major sponsor of local surfing star John Mark Tokong.
The event has a total prize money of USD75,000, in which the champion will take home a whopping USD12,000.