Garcia stars as Whites dominate inaugural AirAsia Crystal Cup

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ANTHONY Garcia showcased his high-scoring act as the White Team picked up twin victories to rule the 1st AirAsia Crystal Cup over the weekend at the polo field of Alabang Country Club.

Garcia, a Filipino-American five-goal player, racked up a total of seven goals to power the White Team past the Red Team, 5-2, and the Black Team, 4-1, in the high goal tournament.

“The scores didn’t reflect how tough the games were,” said the 32-year-old Garcia, who scored the most number of goals in the round-robin contest.

Garcia—who teamed up with Globalport owner Mikee Romero, Thai Ploy Bhinsaeng and British Jake Gordon—slotted in all but one of the White Team’s five goals against the Red Team and knocked in another three against the Black squad.

“I have good horses coming from Mr. Romero and it’s sort of a homecourt advantage for me having played here before,” said Garcia. “Having a good horse and familiarity of the place helps.”

The Red Team, bannered by Garcia’s brother Adrian, settled for second with a 1-1 slate after downing Black with a 4-1 decision in the two-chukker match.

In the low goal tournament, Eduardo Lopez delivered two  goals in the final  chukker to power the White Team past the Red Team, 7-4.

“I started playing polo again this year and was not really expecting to do well,” said Lopez, a 15-year-old La Salle Zobel student who briefly played football.

Lopez teamed up with Butch Albert, Lars and Kimberly Lofgren and actor Diether Ocampo, while the Red Team had Freddie Borromeo, Jam, Nicole and Massu Eusebio and Dary Matti.

“The win is just a bonus because the real winners are the polo players, especially the new players,” said Romero, the event patron who also scored a goal against Red. “My goal in this tournament is to give new players the exposure they need to get better and I think we achieved that purpose.”

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