The Silver Cup Banco del Progreso American Express, second of four Polo Challenge 2016 tournaments, came to an end as Lechuza claimed another title.
The week began with the subsidiary semifinals on Wednesday at Lechuza Caracas RD. The first game was between Casa de Campo and Los Samanes. Santi Toccalino scored five of ten goals to take his team through to Saturday’s subsidiary semifinals. The final score was Casa de Campo 6 – Los Samanes 10; Santi Toccalino was named MVP. Next up, Los Establos took on Pitirri/Potranca. The Cap Cana team managed to control the match and win their second game of the tournament 11-6, becoming the second team to qualify for the subsidiary final; Ale Muzzio was named MVP.
Thursday’s semifinals were held at Casa de Campo; first, Test Drive, formerly Cinque Terre, took on Agualinda. It was an exciting game as David Stirling scored to give Agualinda an 11-9 win and take them through to the final. The second game saw La Carbuccia valiantly take on Lechuza, but the Venezuelan team proved to be superior yet again as they won the game 13-7. They would therefore face Agualinda in the final.
The Silver Cup final was set to be between the same teams who played the Bronze Cup final; the Venezuelan teams boast two of the best players in the world – David Stirling (10) and Juan Martín Nero (10) – as well as a spectacular organisation, so it is no wonder they are dominating the polo scene in the Dominican.
The day of the Silver Cup final kicked off at 14:30 at Casa de Campo with the Subsidiary. Once again, the Toccalino brothers faced each other in what was an exciting game. Ale Muzzio gave a great performance while Santi Toccalino drove Los Samanes forward to give them the edge, and they won the Subsidiary 11-10.
Next up was the much awaited final, streamed live on ESPN – a first in the Dominican Republic; the game could be seen throughout the Americas, from Patagonia to Canada. There was much excitement before the match, where spectators enjoyed a Maserati race. The final was an impressive one, with Agualinda fighting hard to beat their nemesis Lechuza. Every player was on form and the final score was very close, but Lechuza claimed the 7-6 win. Jauretche and Collardín were exceptional, but it was Jose Donoso who was named MVP of the final; Stirling’s mare Zaira was chosen as BPP.
The Gold Cup, the third tournament of the series, kicks off on March 3. The Polo Challenge will draw to an end with the Caribbean Open (end of March – beginning of April), the 22-goal tournament will be the first of its kind in Central America and the Caribbean.