THE sport of polo never had it this good in the country.
For the first time, back-to-back tournaments will be held this weekend at the Alabang Country Club polo field featuring the rising stars of the sports opposite the battle-scarred veterans.
“Technically, this is the first time that we will have two straight polo tournaments,” said Jun Juban, chair of Alabang CC’s polo committee.
“So the saying that polo is the sport only the ‘kings’ can afford is now a misnomer. We now have a wider audience than before.”
The producer of several blockbuster Hollywood movies, including the Bourne Legacy, Juban expects the standard of the sport in the country to improve by leaps and bounds after the tournaments.
“I’m sure they will be inspired to train harder after being exposed to this kind of tournaments where top players from different countries will be displaying their stuff,” he added.
Former amateur basketball godfather Mikee Romero of Harbour Centre is sponsoring the two-day polo festival to be graced by several powerful figures from both the business and government sectors. Romero is also a fast-rising players in top ranks.
Argentina’s Ambassador Joaquin Daniel Otero, AirAsia CEO Maan Hontiveros and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia have been invited to make the ceremonial toss for Sunday’s big event – the 10-goal Globalport 900’s Sultan Cup.
The event on Saturday is the AirAsia’s Crystal Cup, a two-game affair featuring low-goal and high-goal round-robin tournaments.
Rising stars like Jam, Nicole and Massu Eusebio, Kimberly Lofgren, Milka Romero, actor Diether Ocampo, Eduardo Lopez, and Daryl Matti will try to impress in the low goal event.
Veteran Freddie Borromeo will captain the white team, while Swedish Lars Lofgren will spearhead the Red team.
The high-goal event is a 6-8 goal round-robin tournament where Team Globalport of Mikee Romero, Thailand’s patron Ploy Bhinsaeng, Britain’s Jake Gordon, and Anthony Garcia goes up against Team King Power made up of Thailand’s Tal Srivaddhanaprabha, Filipino Sonny Borromeo, Santi Juban, and Argentinian pro Miguel Diaz.
The third team is composed of Jun Juban, Jim Donovan, Adrian Garcia, and Mexican pro Isidro Olivas.