PH Polo Open pits 4 crack international teams vs 2 local squads
MANILA, Philippines — A gathering of the region’s royalties and the sport’s standouts unfolds next month when the Philippine Polo Open 2014 stages its biggest event yet at Calatagan polo field in Batangas.
International polo standouts in four teams get to test the country’s aces as the Philippines pits two teams led by sportsman-businessman Mikee Romero and tycoon Iñigo Zobel in the five-day tournament starting on March 4.
Billionaire Vichai Srivadhanpprabha, acknowledged as Asia’s polo godfather, heads the Thailand team, while Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah and China’s Liu Shilai of Tang Polo also banner their national squads.
A crack delegation from the United States complete the six-team field.
“The biggest names in polo in the region are coming, so we are doing everything to make the event not only successful but also very memorable for them,” said Romero, who partnered with Zobel in bankrolling the event.
Vichai, who owns the English pro football club Leicester City, will have his sons Tal and Top as co-captains of Kingpower-Thailand.
It will also be a family affair for Brunei as Prince Jefri, the younger brother of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, will compete alongside his son Prince Bahar.
Romero, the PBA team owner who has turned into one of the country’s fast-rising polo players, will carry the local banner with his Globalport-Pilipinas squad.
Zobel also vies to give the country a good showing with the San Miguel Corp.-Philippines.
Jim Donovan will head Adec-USA along with Hollywood producer Lope “Jun” Juban Sr.
The blue-ribbon event, backed by Globalport 900, Inc., SMC, Lifestyle Asia, Air Asia and Manila North Harbour Port, Inc., comes after two major tournaments that Romero also backed last year. Jasmine W. Payo