TUSOK BALITA ONLINE - A Publication of the National Darts Federation of the Philippines


Updated November 06, 2017

Alex Tagarao is the new Masters Cup Champion after beating the defending National Masters Cup Champion and last year’s Darter of the Year Awardee, Noel Malicdem, 3-1 sets, in the best of 5 sets best of 7 legs championship.

Enroute to the finals, Malicdem shut out Alexis Toylo 3-0 in the T8 and beat Natz Guba of Iligan with an identical 3-0 win in the T4. Tagarao on the other hand came back from a 2-0 sets deficit to win in 3 straight sets in the best of 5 sets best of 5 legs match.  His calm and calculated, one at a time win brought pressure and intimidation, especially after Tongcopanon squandered multiple winning moments.  The same case happened in the T4 playing against Lourence Ilagan - Tagarao came back strong to win as Ilagan, leading 2-1 sets, began to miss his outs in the decisive set.

Alex Tagarao established his hallmark as a player with unyielding, steady and composed demeanor despite being behind in points and score.  His collected and cool disposition, coupled with spurts of brilliant high-outs, eventually unnerve and unsettle his opponents.  Time and again, his challengers miserably missed golden opportunities to win, and Tagarao opportunistically took advantage of these failures.  Indeed, Alex Tagarao showed a fighting heart of a champion – as the saying goes, “it’s not over until it’s over”.

Tagarao first caught the attention of the darting community when he won the 2015 Philippine Qualifier to the World Darts Champion in London, and the representation to the PDC World Cup, Germany in 2016.  Alex hails from Cagayan de Oro City and is one of the stalwarts of Team Julio.


Finally, after 2 heart breaking runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 Intercity Team Championships, Team DOT Tacloban City nailed the championship.  Team Tacloban led by Jun Buling. Rex Bautista, Wilmer Ong, and Mark Campos prepared well this time, including an international stint in Malaysia.

The T8 match of Team Tacloban was a replay of the 2016 championship against the defending champion CADASS Caloocan Team of Ber Arroyo.  But this time, the result was different.  Team Tacloban won in a decisive leg of an exciting best of 5 legs match.  The defending champion city has the privilege to field a 2nd team: CADASS 2 reached the finals by prevailing over DOMAC Marikina City in the other T4 match.

Again, Team Tacloban had to contend with another Team from Caloocan. The Championship was evenly matched going down to the decisive 5th and final leg.  The players were shuffled and the lineups were changed.  Team Caloocan gained a slight edge having the first to throw advantage and continued to have the first shot to win the championship with D16, but missed all 3 shots.  Team Tacloban came alive, prayed and Jun Buling psyched up Wilmer Ong for the winning D20 left.  Boom! The first shot was the championship dart. 

In the end, it was sheer determination, hard work, and luck that made Team Tacloban the 2017 Inter-City National Team Champions.

Congratulations to all the winners.
NDFP Affiliation Form