Filipino rookies Cruz and Deguzman take the Mick best

It’s no secret that darts in the Cayman Islands is seeing a huge influx of Filipino players. Two of the most notable newcomers are Jhay Cruz and Rosyl Deguzman.

Both claimed trophies at the recent Pirates Week Mickey Mouse darts tournament. The annual competition, held this year at the Mango Tree, saw Cruz team up with Mel Tagalog to claim the doubles title while Deguzman won the ladies championship.

Cruz, 42, has been in Cayman for about 22 months and decorates cakes for a living. He states the Mickey Mouse tournament is his first local darts event.

“This is my first tournament and I’m glad I played and won the doubles,” Cruz said. “Naturally it’s very difficult to win this and I’m so happy with the level of competition. Everyone has their own expertise and I was trying to prove myself. I’m glad I played.

“I’m from Manila and January will be two years here for me. I’m looking forward to more games. I need to practice more.”

Deguzman has only been in Cayman a few months and stumbled into the sport through her husband Eugene Deguzman. Eugene only recently made a statement in the sport by earning the runner-up prize in the Vivian Rankine memorial tournament weeks ago.

Deguzman states she was nervous in the final.

“I’ve only been playing three months and Eugene got me into it,” Deguzman said. “I just got into it while waiting on my work permit to go through. It feels great (to win). It was totally unexpected and tough because I played against one of the best in Michelle Terry.

“My body was shaking, my hands were cold and the win was not easy.”

Both rookies went against established names in the sport to win their respective trophies. Cruz beat out the runner-up pairing of Rodan Asuncion and Randy Cruz (no relation). Deguzman meanwhile beat out runner-up Michelle Terry and stellar lady players like Linda Locke.

The 2011 Mickey Mouse tournament saw a total of 40 competitors. Many star local players were present including Edsell Haylock, Cayman Islands Darts Association President Paul Anglin and Hank ‘The Hammer’ Ebanks.

From here local darts shifts its attention to its national league. For Deguzman her focus will be on playing as much as possible.

“I will do more competitions. Every Friday I play at the Grand Caymanian resort and going forward I want to play more.”

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