TANG Polo of China and Kingpower of Thailand pulled off huge wins over their rivals Wednesday to throw the battle for a final berths in the Globalport Philippine Polo Open 2015 into a wide open race in Calatagan, Batangas.
ShiLai Liu scored the go-ahead goal before Tang Polo watched Globalport misfire on successive attempts in the dying seconds of the four-chukker game for an 8-7 victory.
In the other game, Apichet Srivaddhanaprabha scored the first two goals in the first chukker while Lucas Lujan delivered two goals in the final chukker as Kingpower pulled off a 5-3 victory over Los Tamaraos for their first win in Zone 2.
Argentinean pro Miguel Diaz struck hardest for Tang Polo with four goals while Benjamin Urquiza added two goals as they helped the team post its first win in the three-team Zone 1while 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 Mikee Romero’s Globalport, 9-4, in the opening day.
“It was a good game. Mikee is a very good friend, like a family, and we both loved to play with each other,” said Liu.
In a fitting follow-up to his five-goal performance in the opening day, Argentinean Mariano Obregon led Globalport once again with four goals but he turned from hero to goat when he muffed a game-tying goal in the last 40 ticks 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 good-size crowd that was cheering for the host team.
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,” said 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 opening day
Tang Polo and Polo Escape are playing at press time and so are Kingpower and San Miguel. In case of multiple ties, tie breaks are going to be used to determine the finalists from both zones on Sunday.