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Ababa-Lascuña shootout looms for PGTA title

LUBAO, Pampanga, Philippines — Jhonnel Ababa shrugged off erstwhile co-leader Nicolas Paez of the US with an eagle-spiked 70 but failed to shake off Tony Lascuña, who closed out with a flourish to seal a final round shootout for the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic crown here.

Lascuña birdied three of the last six holes to fire a 69, pulling to within one with a 54-hole haul of 210 as Ababa hung tough with a two-under card spiked by an eagle on the par-5 12th for a 209.
That guarantees a fierce showdown not only for the crown but also for the bragging rights as the first player to win two titles on the Philippine Golf Tour Asia with Ababa going for back-to-back after a seven-stroke romp at Eagle Ridge last week.

Lascuña, on the other hand, is seeking a follow-up to his Wack Wack feat last November.

“I like my chances but it will take a lot of effort as Jhonnel is playing solid,” said Lascuña, who moved into contention after breaking a three-birdie, three-bogey game after 12 holes with birdies on Nos. 13, 16 and 17.

That late birdie flurry was Lascuña’s response to Ababa’s eagle on No. 12, a feat that kept the two-day leader and fellow Davaoeño three strokes ahead of his pursuers majority of the third round of the $100,000 event put up by ICTSI.

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