MANILA, Philippines - Jake Zobel and Alfonso Araneta, scions of polo patrons Inigo Zobel and Greggy Araneta, came through with big plays to help power the Blue team to 10-4 win over the Red Team Team and into to the finals of the first Harbour Centre-AirAsia Polo Cup Tuesday at the Enrique Zobel Field of the Manila Polo Club in Makati City.
Zobel proved too hot to handle as he scored six, including two in the first of four chukkers (7-minute per chukker) while the young Araneta and teammate Jun Eusebio scored two goals each.
The fourth teammate of the Blue team was veteran player Benjie Toda who likewise did a solid job on the defensive end.
"They (Red) are a good team but they missed a lot in front of the goals. Our team was better organized and we played like a team," said Zobel.
The Blue Team will face either the Black or the Yellow team in the finals. Black and Yellow will square off today.
The entry of Mikee Romero in the "Sport of Kings" was welcomed by players and supporters with Santi Elizalde, son of Philippine Polo chairman and International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Frank Elizalde, saying: "It's always good to see new players come in and sponsor a tournament. It's great that we have Mr. Romero sponsoring the tournament."
The league format is a first in many years, giving players - old and new - to show their wares and play in the league.
Romero has always been an avid supporter of Philippine sports, being named "godfather" of Philippine amateur basketball in 2007 and 2008. He now heads the Philippine National Shooting Association, which is one of the few PH sports bound for the London 2012 Olympics.
Jones Lanza and Jimboy Dulay had two goals each for the losing Red team.
Making up the Black team are Adrian Garcia, Jay de Jesus, Jim Donovan and Fila's Butch Albert while Yellow is composed of Jun Juban, Sonny Borromeo and Ray del Rosario.
The High Goal on Sunday will pit the Red Team of Romero and Inigo Zobel against the Blue Team of former Philippine Polo Team captain Antonio Veloso. Aside from Romero and Zobel, other members of the Red Team are Manot Montilla and 5-goal handicap Anthony Garcia. Veloso will have Gus Aguirre, Cole Aguirre and Santi Elizalde as teammates.