ARGENTINIAN pro Miguel Diaz lived up to his lofty billing, while patron Mikee Romero came through with another swashbuckling performance as Team Maserati outlasted Team Jaguar, 10-6, to rule the Globalport 900’s International Sultan Cup title Sunday at the Alabang Country Club polo field.
Playing in the country for the second time, Diaz, a four-goaler, dazzled the crowd again with his strength and great control to lead the team with four goals, including a 60-yard penalty shot that gave them a commanding 6-2 lead after the third chucker of the centerpiece event of the Romero Polo Festival.
Inspired by the presence of his entire family, including wife, Sheila, Romero produced the team’s first goal through a perfect pass by Diaz to the delight of a big crowd. He finished with three goals in a performance that substantiate his status as one of the best polo players around.
The two other members of the team – Anthony Garcia and Tal Srivaddhanaprabha of Thailand – also did well with Garcia chipping in two, while the Thai patron added one to underscore their dominance over the squad of Mexican-American Isidro Olivas, Argentinian Santi Galland, Santi Juban and Andrian Garcia.
With the resounding success of the event graced by Argentina’s Ambassador Joaquin Daniel-Otero, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia, and members of the UAAP 3-peat women’s volleyball champion La Salle, Romero, who sponsored the two-day event, said a bigger and longer event will be held next year.
“This is for the good of the sport, especially for the new players. For now, patrons from the US, China, and Thailad have expressed their desire to join the event next year,” said Romero, who highlighted his game-long brilliance with a tap off a scramble play that finally took the fight out of their rivals in their five-chukker match, 9-5.
Aside from Maserati and Jaguar, also backing the event are Land Rover, Royale Salute, Medical City and Gatorade.
Meanwhile Team Blue made up of father and son Jun and Jam Eusebio, Jim Donovan, Eduardo Lopez, and the debuting Milka Romero ruled the low goal tournament by downing the Red Team, 5-1. The Eusebios scored two goals apiece as they topped the three-team event with a win and a draw.
The Red team made up of Butch Albert, Freddie and Sonny Borromeo and Lars Lofgren settled for second place with a win and a loss, while the White team composed of Kim Lofgren, Daryl Matti, Ige Camara, and Jun Juban finished with a draw and a loss.
“This is an international cast of players in a 10-goal polo event which is a first here in Alabang Country Club. But what makes the event special is the fact that it provided a venue for new comers to show their wares and at the same time, open the sport of polo to players from provinces like Bulacan and Batangas,” said Romero.