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San Beda routed Emilio Aguinaldo, 3.5-.5, and then blanked Letran, 4-0, over the weekend to virtually clinched the first round pennant of the 92nd NCAA seniors chess tournament at the Jose Rizal Gym in Mandaluyong City.
With still a round to go, the Lions have already amassed 28.5 points, a clear 5.5 points ahead of the Arellano U Chiefs, the defending back-to-back champions who have 23.5 points and would take the first round title even they lose their last game versus Mapua on Saturday.
Arellano, which is seeking its third straight title, for its part, dumped Jose Rizal and San Sebastian by the same score, 3.5-.5, to stay at No. 2 and ensure itself of a place in the second round where only four teams will make it based on the new format implemented for the first time this season.