THE biggest and perhaps the most exciting polo event the country will ever witness is set from March 4 to 9 at the Calatagan polo fields as Asia’s rich and famous slug it out for pride and honor in the first Philippine Polo Open 2014.
Sportsman-businessman Mikee Romero of Globalport and hotshot Inigo Zobel of Ayala and San Miguel fame – two of the bigwigs of the sport -- are joining hands for the first time to make the blue ribbon event a reality.
Hosting national teams from Thailand, Brunei, and China, both Zobel and Romero are leaving no stone unturned to make the event a resounding success not only for the players but also for polo fans who are looking forward for a five-day of exhilarating action.
“The biggest names in the sport of polo in the region are coming so we are doing everything to make the event not only successful but also very memorable to them,” said Romero.
The PH Open is a fitting sequel to two major tournaments Romero himself sponsored last year, including one designed for young and promising polo players only.
Vichai Srivadhanpprabha, acknowledged as the godfather of the sport and one of the richest in the region, spearheads a compact national squad of Thailand. His sons -- Tal and Top -- are the co-captains of the team.
The famous Thai sportsman owned Leicester City FC, a team that is leading UK’s Second Division and is bound to enter the Premiere Division.
Other players to watch in the event which has Globalport 900, Inc., San Miguel Corporation, Lifestyle Asia, Air Asia and Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. as major sponsors are the father and son tandem of Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah and Prince Bahar.
Prince Jefri is the younger brother of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Shilai Liu of Tang Polo leads the Chinese national team in the event where royalties and dignitaries from various countries are likely to witness the slam-bang affair.
Adding excitement to the event is the presence of a crack team from the United States led by ADEC’s Jim Donovan and Hollywood producer Lope “Jun” Juban Sr.
The six teams are bracketed in two divisions with Globalport-Pilipinas of Romero, Tang Polo-China and ADEC-USA comprising Group A, while San Miguel Corporation-Philippines of Zobel, Kingpower-Thailand and ADEC-USA making up Group B.