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Baguio Scrabble players, top finishers of the online ASTAR Scrabble Challenge International

SUMA CUM LAUDE. Mohammad Suma the Panagbenga Scrabble 2019 champion placed third in the ASTAR Scrabble Tournament held recently online. Here Suma, background, right, is seen playing against eventual second placer Ferdinand Lucas, while his father, Orak, front, right, plays eventual third placer Melvin Dalangin. The Baguio Benguet Word Builders Club organized event was staged at the Porta Vaga Mall. Pigeon Lobien

A regular player in the Baguio leg of the Scrabble tournaments and a young promoter of the sport among youngsters are among the top finishers of the online ASTAR Scrabble Challenge International.

Panagbenga Scrabble Tournament defending champion Mohammad Suma fell to Singaporean top rated player Hubert Wee in the final round of the 13-round online event 376-422 and finish the two day tournament with nine wins and four losses and a spread of +890 for third place.

Wee, who goes by the online name Fla over ISC.RO finished with a 10-3 and +1584 spread points to win the tournament that drew more than 500 players from under eight to under 18 years old age brackets.

Suma summed his final game as nerve wracking as he faced one of the world’s top Scrabble players in Wee. It was a tight battle with only one bingo, all seven letters used, ROSEHIP, but with high scoring three, four and five word games.

Suma included wins over eventual fourth placer Kong Chock Heng of Malaysia, a 499-381 victory, including long words like DELUSORY, DIAXONES, DATELINE AND FRONTED.

With VIBEX and the X on a triple word score square, the players scored 58 points.

Kong finished tied with Suma and two others at 9-4, but has the lowest spread points of +666. Spread points is the total point differences in each games and used as a tie breaker.

Lear Jet dela Cruz of Cebu, the co-organizer of the Philippine Online Student Tournament last year, finished seventh with an 8-5 card and spread of +825. Six players actually finished with the same card.

Shayne Maratas finished 10th in the 18-under category and join her two seniors as placers in the Malaysia Scrabble Association hosted event with world’s top rated player Anish Asirvatham, who spearheaded the online student tournament last year where a team from Saint Louis Laboratory Elementary School joined.

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