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Fiery Gialon grabs 3-shot lead with 66

Zanieboy Gialon sizzled with a 6-under 66 and moved 18 holes away from ending a long title spell with a three-stroke lead over Tony Lascuña in the third round of the ICTSI Calatagan Golf Challenge at the Calatagan Golf Club in Batangas yesterday.

Gialon outgunned Jhonnel Ababa and Dutchman Guido Van der Valk with a near-flawless stint in the last 9 holes, capped by three birdies in the last four for a 31 for an 11-under 205 total that put diminutive shotmaker three shots clear of an equally charging Lascuña, who also turned in a six-under card four flights ahead to assume the challenger’s role at 208.

Rufino Bayron also rallied at the back with a 33 for a 67 and took solo third at 209 while brother Jay carded a 71 and lay six shots farther back at 211 heading to the final 18 holes of the P2.5 million event sponsored by ICTSI.

Ababa, who shared the halfway lead with Gialon, flubbed a couple of birdie putts in the early going and struggled the rest of the way, hitting two birdies but fumbling with three bogeys for a 73. He tumbled to joint fifth with Clyde Mondilla and American Nicolas Paez.

Mondilla, seeking a third straight championship in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., struck back from the middle of the surviving pack to within a stroke off Gialon with three birdies in the first five holes.

But the Southwoods and Philippine Masters winner lost his putting touch and settled for a one-birdie, one-bogey stint at the back for a 69 while Paez birdied two of the first four holes and eagled No. 13 but made two bogeys for a 70.