MANILA, Philippines - Globalport-Pilipinas knocked down three crucial goals in the third chukker to hack out an 8-4 win over Tang Polo of China and advance to the final via a two-game sweep of their group elims in the Philippine Polo Open 2014 at the Globalport Field in Calatagan, Batangas yesterday.
San Miguel Corp.-Philippines, with Juan Jaretche dishing out another superb performance, trounced Kingpower of Thailand, 8-5, and swept the other group elims to seal a one-game title clash with Globalport on Sunday.
After a close fight in the first two chukkers, Globalport surged to a 6-1 lead as team captain Mikee Romero joined hands with top Argentinian pros Gaston Beguerie and Rodrigo Bauzada to rip the game apart in their Group A match.
All four Globalport players, including Thai Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha, scored two goals each to underscore the team’s solid teamwork.
Jaretche lived up to his billing as a five-goaler as he exploded for six goals while Monet Montilla, who took over the place of team captain Iñigo Zobel, added two goals. Zobel begged off from playing due to a previous commitment.
“We tried to go hard so the pressure is on the other side. Mikee (Romero) played well, we played well as a team too,” said Srivaddhanaprabha. “We knew each other after our first game and we played better today.”
Romero was glad they survived China’s fightback.
“We got scared, they (Tang Polo) came very close,” said Romero.
Globalport’s smashing win was a fitting followup to its 8-4 win over ADEC of Team USA in the opener of Group A action in the tournament presented by Manila North Harbour Port. Inc., AirAsia, Viber and San Miguel Corporation.
Bauzada, a three-goaler, now has six goals in the six-team tournament, counting his four in the team’s win over ADEC last Tuesday.
A last-gasp goal by Antonino Menard in the third chukker pulled the Chinese team to within 6-2, thus giving them a ray of hope of turning their fortunes around.
The Chinese team almost did it when Antonino scored back-to-back goals early in the payoff period that cut their deficit down to two, 6-4.
Globalport, however, ended Tang Polo’s comeback with one Big D as it repelled a penalty shot.
Srivaddhanaprabha broke the ice early but Chinese Shi Lai knotted the count with one magnificent play.
But Globalport broke a 1-1 count when Romero, benefitting from a perfect pass by Rodrigo, slammed home his first goal of the tournament before Gaston Beguerie tallied his first goal of the match.