Top Seeds Put on a Clinic at Cloud 9 Today, Final Showdown Tomorrow

Jay-R Esquivel from La Union getting his game face on inside this barrel in Cloud 9 today. Photo by Tim Hain.


Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines (Wednesday, September 26, 2018) – Today was an epic battle of Philippines’ finest surfers showing the rest of the country why they deserve their rankings. PSCT 2017 Men’s Shortboard Open champion Philmar Alipayo, Siargao’s Piso Alcala, Baler’s Neil Sanchez, Siargao’s John Mark Tokong and La Union’s Jay-R Esquivel all made it through and will surf in the final showdown tomorrow.


The third day of the 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup had the most action with John Mark Tokong; currently, our top 4, withwith the highest total heat score of 17.50 just halfway through his heat. Also with the highest single wave score of 9.50, Tokong left his close friend and current heat opponent Remar Magaluna in a combo situation requiring a 17.51 to take Tokong out of the lead.


Neil Sanchez of Baler looking for a way out. Photo by Lanz Amparado.


Magaluna showed us grit by trying to get the most significant waves Cloud 9 could offer him during his heat. “I really waited to get the biggest waves because I knew those waves could help me get my needed combo but the right waves didn’t come,” he adds with a smile.


“It was such a great heat surfing out with my good friend and Siargao legend, Marama even if the results were not in my favor. I’m so happy just to be here. I get to enjoy what Cloud 9 has to offer, and that’s what’s important,”  Magaluna adds.



Siargao’s Piso Alcala being comfortable on bombing Cloud 9. Photo by Oli Bayer.


Tokong was also part of the Philippine Team that participated in the UR ISA World Surfing Games for the first time and even scored the highest among the group, setting an undisputed momentum for himself for the rest of the tour.


“I felt amazing and comfortable during the first few waves that I got. It’s just great to be back. I was just waiting for the good sets, I knew what was going to happen because Cloud 9 is home.” Marama shares.


Eloy Nogalo of Siargao playing peek-a-boo with this Cloud 9 bomb. Photo by Oli Bayer.


Siargao rippers proved once and again that local knowledge plays a huge role in helping them get through to the next round with exceptions of our surfers from the north—Jay-R Esquivel and Neil Sanchez finishing first with total heat scores of 14.00 and 13.00 respectively.


“It was a challenging heat today with Pete Catulay. The wind made it even harder to nail the rides that I knew would bring in the scores,” said Esquivel.


Only .35 points separating him from Siargao’s Catulay, Esquivel shares how important it was to stay focused during his heat. When asked why he still paddled back to the line up with less than half a minute left on the clock, Esquivel replied “I just wanted to get one last wave for fun! It wasn’t because I needed another wave to win the heat.”


Cloud 9 Tower on the third day. Photo by Lanz Amparado.

At the end of the day, each surfer’s fate depends on who gets the best wave of the heat. Solid 3-foot waves at Cloud 9 did not fail the roaring crowds watching from the tower.


The final showdown of the 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup starts at 5:30 am tomorrow, and we’re excited to see whether reigning champion Philmar Alipayo defends his title or will another nab the title from him?


Stay tuned! Finals start tomorrow and here are the highlights!



Current PSCT Men’s Shortboard Open Champion Philmar Alipayo making sure he keeps his title this tour. Photo by Oli Bayer.


John Mark Tokong nailing this gem from Cloud 9. Photo by Oli Bayer.

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