Star-studded Romero polo festival slated

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The sport of polo is now getting wider acceptance in the country, thanks to a new breed of players and young and aggressive patrons.

Proof of this is the staging of the first ever back-to-back tournaments this weekend at the Alabang Country Club polo field where the young guns get a rare chance to mingle and play against 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,” expects the standard of the sport in the country to improve after the twin tournaments.

Former amateur basketball godfather Mikee Romero of Harbour Centre is sponsoring the two-day polo festival. Romero is himself among the fast rising stars in the sport.

Argentina’s Ambassador Joaquin Daniel Otero, AirAsia CEO Maan Hontiveros and Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia have been invited to make the ceremonial toss  in Sunday’s big event—the 10-goal Globalport 900’s Sultan Cup.

Scheduled Saturday is the AirAsia’s Crystal Cup, a two-game affair featuring a low goal and high goal matches.

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. Freddie Borromeo will captain the white team while Swedish Lars Lofgren will spearhead the Red team.

The high-goal event pits Team Globalport of Mikee Romero, Thailand’s Ploy Bhinsaeng, Britain’s Jake Gordon and Anthony Garcia against Team King Power of Thai Tal Srivaddhanaprabha, Filipino Sonny Borromeo, Santi Juban and Argentine Miguel Diaz.

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