TANG Polo of China and Kingpower of Thailand pulled off huge wins over separate opponents on Wednesday, throwing wide open the battle for finals berths in the GlobalPort Philippine Polo Open 2015.
ShiLai Liu scored the go-ahead goal for Tang Polo before watching GlobalPort misfire on successive attempts in the dying seconds of the four-chukker game to pull off a thrilling 8-7 victory in Calatagan, Batangas.
In the other game, Apichet Srivaddhanaprabha scored the first two goals in the first chukker, while Lucas Lujan delivered two more in the final chukker as Kingpower registered a 5-3 win over Los Tamaraos for its first win in Zone 2.
Argentinean pro Miguel Diaz struck hardest for Tang Polo with four goals and Benjamin Urquiza added two goals to help the team post its first win in the three-team Zone 1 while stalling GlobalPort’s bid to secure the first final berth.
Tang Polo can advance to the one-game final on Sunday if it beats Polo Escape of Thailand – a team beaten by Mike Romero’s Globalport, 9-4, on opening day.
“It was a good game. Mikee is a very good friend, like a family, and we both loved to play against each other,” said Liu.
In a fitting follow-up to his five-goal showing on opening day, Argentinean Mariano Obregon led GlobalPort once again with four goals but turned from hero to goat when he muffed a game-tying goal in the last 40 seconds following an awkward shot.
GlobalPort had one last chance to tie the game but Adrian Garcia’s attempt went wide to the dismay of the sizeable home crowd.
The loss spoiled Romero’s first goal in the tournament after he completed a long pass from Obregon that gave his team a 5-3 lead at the half.
“It’s good that we won our first game,” beamed the 32-year old Srivaddhanaprabha. “It was very tough, it was a very, very close game but we managed to turn the game around in the final chukker.”
The loss denied Los Tamaraos an outright final berth after beating defending champion San Miguel, 9-5, in the opener.
Tang Polo and Polo Escape are playing as of posting time and so are Kingpower and San Miguel.
In case of multiple ties, tiebreaks are going to be used to determine the finalists from both zones.