ARGENTINIAN pro Mariano Obregon lived up to expectations as GlobalPort Pilipinas jumpstarted its title bid with a resounding 9-4 win over Polo Escape-Thailand in the GlobalPort Philippine Polo Open 2015 on Tuesday in Calatagan, Batangas.
A veteran of 26-goal tournaments in Florida, California, Obregon delivered five goals to give the host team a headstart in Zone 1 elims of the six-team, 12-goal tournament being officiated by world-renowned referee Tim Keyte.
“It was a lot of fun. We have a good field, good horses and a very nice organization,” said the 29-year-old Obregon.
Obregon, a seven-goaler, also had an assist to mark his debut on Philippine soil.
Skippered by businessman-sportsman Mikee Romero, Globalport zoomed to a 3-0 lead after the first of four chukkers as Obregon put on two goals through brilliant maneuvering that awed their rivals.
The lead ballooned to 5-0 at halftime as Obregon added another one before assisting Santi Luhan to all but settle the outcome.
“Grabe, sobrang galing niya,” beamed Romero. “Mariano is something else and he probably is one of the best players na nakuha ko. I hope he can carry the team to the finals.”
Luhan and Adrian Garcia added two goals each for Globalport, which played Tang Polo of China on Wednesday.
If Romero and company triumph, they will advance to the final against the top team of Zone 2 on Sunday.
Equally impressive was Los Tamaraos-Australia, which downed San Miguel, 9-5, in a Zone 2 match.
Briton Max Charlton, the highest-ranked player in the tournament as an eight-goaler, picked up the cudgels for Los Tamaraos as he fired four of his five goals in the fourth and final chukker.
San Miguel’s Guillermo Cavanagh gave his team a 5-4 lead but Charlton made three successive goals to take control of the match.
“This is my first time here and this is the first time that we played together and it was only in the fourth chukker that we adjusted with each other,” said the 24-year-old Charlton.
The team’s four other goals were produced by Nacho Ithurburu.
The Los Tamaraos played Kingpower of Thailand on Wednesday with high hopes of advancing to the winner-take-all title showdown on Sunday.