Piso Alcantara almost back to top form, wins Vans Cloud Masters

MANILA, Philippines – Although still recovering from a severe knee injury, local surfing superstar Edito “Piso” Alcantara proved to everyone he’s still Siargao’s number one.

Mixing up his barrels, hacks, big full rail carves, and floaters in all kinds of wave and weather conditions, Alcantara bested local and international counterparts in the Men’s Open Division in the Vans Cloud 9 Masters Surfing Competition in Siargao on Thursday, April 30.

“I knew I just had to be patient and pick the right waves, and not do anything too crazy. Just do my business and get the job done, that was my plan,” Alcantara said.

He admitted that getting back his old form was his priority.

“I did think about my injury and so I’m always extra careful, thinking what to do and how to do it,” he said.

The Women’s Division, meanwhile, saw an upset when local champion Nilbie Blancada’s last second infraction gave away the title to 2013 ASC Women’s Champion Rina Kitazawa from Japan.

Just as the horn blew to signal time, Kitazawa got to her feet but found herself unable to continue on the wave after Blancada also stood up on the same wave.

While the scores were being tabulated, Blancada was assessed an interference infraction upon video review where it was seen that she impeded Kitazawa.

Although aided by Blancada’s bad luck, the Japanese said she wass glad that she copped the championship again.

“I got here a week ago and have been practicing because I know how hard it is to beat the locals here, especially Nilbie and her sister Nildie,” Kitazawa said. “I got lucky because Nilbie made a mistake, unlucky for her, but I’m still happy to be the winner.”

Over at the Juniors Division, 18-year-old Mike Escoltura snatched the win over John Mark Tokong who couldn’t find his rhythm in the final.

Although it was Tokong who was surfing brilliantly all event long, the 18-year-old Escoltura’s solid rail and barrel surfing in the final earned the latter the win.

“I’m studying for college now so that’s why I didn’t have so much time to practice, but I think it was just my opportunity to win today," said Escoltura. – Rappler.com