Bigger polo festival next year

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MORE than just a weekend spectacle.

That’s what Globalport owner Mikee Romero hopes to stage next year following the auspicious two-day polo festival capped by the Globalport 900 International Sultan Cup high-goal match last Sunday at Alabang Country Club field.

Three topnotch pros from Argentina—brought in by Thailand’s Apichet Srivadraprabhana, a 2007 Southeast Asian Games bronze winner and owner of Kingpower Duty Free—saw action in the event.

Romero said Tang Polo, bannered by China’s best polo player Shilai Lai, and Singapore’s Ronnie Lee, have confirmed their participation in the planned 10-day event—a polo festival never staged in the country before—next year which will be dubbed as the Philippine Open 2014 with as many as six teams vying.

“For sure, it’s going to be a much bigger tournament, and of course, (it will be) a tougher one,” said Romero, adding that Shanghai’s Brian Xiu and Hong Kong’s Harilela family have also been invited.

“Patrons from China, Singapore and Thailand also called yesterday expressing their desire to play here.”

The AirAsia Crystal Cup and other side events presented by Maserati, Jaguar, Land Rover, Royal Salute, Medical City and Gatorade also drew a sizable crowd, said Romero’s wife Sheila, chair of the organizing committee.

Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia and Argentine Ambassador Joaquin Daniel-Otero  graced the affair along with the members of the UAAP women’s volleyball champion La Salle and school vice chancellor Bro. Bernie Oca, Bacolod Rep. Charlie Cojuangco, Cagayan Rep. Benjo Benaldo and lifestyle celebrities like Inno Sotto, Pepito Albert, Tim Yap, SM’s Kenner Chua and Folded and Hung’s Ronald Pineda.

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