Romero sparks Reds past Blues
MANILA, Philippines—With Mikee Romero leading the charge, the Reds downed the Blues, 9-7, Sunday to claim the high-goal championship of the first-ever Harbour Centre-AirAsia Polo Cup in Makati.
Finishing close-range feeds with aplomb, Romero, CEO and president of sponsoring Harbour Centre, knocked home three goals for the Reds, including back-to-back shots late in the third of the six-chukker final match.
No. 3 man Anthony Garcia also finished with three goals, Manot Montilla added two and Iñigo Zobel had one for the Reds, who led by as many as 7-2 and were never threatened in the match played before an elegant mix of fashion, sports and high society personalities at the Manila Polo Club.
The Blues started a goal up due to a lower handicap and got needed points from Cole Aguirre, Gus Aguirre and Tonio Veloso. Cole Aguirre chalked up three goals, while Veloso and Gus Aguirre accounted for two and one, respectively.
The Blues tried to get back into the game with three goals in the final two minutes of the match, but by then the Reds already had the victory sewed up.
Romero, who is also president of the Philippine National Shooting Association, said the team banked on a strong start, taking a 4-1 cushion after three chukkers on a goal each by all four players.
“It was a great match, the players were all out to win it,” said Romero. “In the end we hung tough.”
Earlier, Benjie Toda scored in the final minute and Jake Zobel added another in the waning seconds as the Blues posted a come-from-behind 7-5 win over the Blacks in the medium goal championship duel.
Toda’s fourth-chukker goal broke a 5-5 standoff and put the Blues in the driver’s seat for the first time in the four-chukker match of the event backed by Air Asia, Oracle Hotel Residences and Folded and Hung.
Toda finished with three goals, while Zobel topscored with four for the Blues. Adrian Garcia had three goals, while Jay de Jesus contributed two markers.