GLOBALPORT Pilipinas and San Miguel Corporation Philippines target a flying start when they clash against separate opponents in the opener of the Philippine Polo Open 2014 on Tuesday at the Globalport Field in Calatagan, Batangas.
In what could be the biggest polo event to be held in the country in more than 50 years, the event gathers the rich and powerful in the region, including Prince Jefri Bolkiah and Prince Bahar of Brunei, and scions of wealthy Thai businessman as they are out to show their prowess in the sport.
The country will be represented by businessman-sportsman Mikee Romero who leads Globalport Pilipinas and Inigo Zobel who anchores the title bid of San Miguel Philippines against four foreign rivals, including fancied ADEC of Team USA.
Zobel’s San Miguel takes the honor of showing its vaunted offense when it takes on Brunei’s Ahmibah at 2:30 p.m. while Romero’s Globalport collide with ADEC at 3:45 p.m.
“The opening day is very important so expect a lot of fireworks,” said Romero. “While we have the so-called homecourt advantage, we have to give all if we want to win. It’s not easy going up against veteran teams.”
Out to provide Globalport offensive clout are Gaston Bequerie, Rodrigo Bauzada and Thai Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha, son of of Vichai Srivadhanpprabha -- acknowledged as the godfather of the sport and one of the richest in the region.
Zobel, on the other hand, will have Tommy Bitong, San Hunt, and Juan Jaretche as teammates in the event presented by Manila North Harbour Port. Inc., AirAsia, Viber and San Miguel Corporation.
Aside from the centerpiece PH Open, a side event dubbed Air Asia Patron’s Cup will be held starting on Wednesday with Caterham F1 Green, Air Asia Red, Caterham Green Team, and Viber Team vying for the title.
Other members of the Royal Brunei team are Prince Qawi Bolkiah and Ale Agote, while Hollywood producer Jun Juban and veteran Jim Donovan lead ADEC. Matias Orlando and Miguel Dure are the other members of ADEC.
Thailand’s King Power and China’s Tang Polo won’t see action until Wednesday.
Bannered by Shi Lai Liu, Tang Polo debuts against Globalport, while the Apichet “Tal” Srivaddhanaprabha-led King Power collides with San Miguel.
The six participating teams will be divided into two groups with each group playing a single round. The No. 1 team from both groups will advance in the one-game face-off on March 9.