Polo at Grand Champions Polo Club
Polo at Grand Champions Polo ClubPolo at Grand Champions Polo Club

Polo at Grand Champions Polo Club

Semis set for the $100,000 World Cup

April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017
The stage is set for the much-anticipated semifinal round of the $100,000 World Cup. After four second round games on Monday and Tuesday, Valiente I, Valiente II, Orchard Hill and Palm Beach Illustrated advanced into Thursday's semifinal round of the 16-team, single-elimination, winner-take-all, 0-26-goal tournament.


It was only fitting that two of the tournament's best teams would end up in a defensive battle with a thrilling sudden death overtime finish at Grand Champions. 21-goal Palm Beach Illustrated (Jared Zenni, Santi Torres, Agustin Obregon, Tommy Collingwood) and 17-goal GSA (Henry Porter, Torito Ruiz, Joaquin Panelo, Matias Magrini) were well-matched despite the four-goal differential.

It took only nine seconds to clinch the game in overtime. Obregon won the throw-in and raced to goal slipping by Panelo for the winning goal.

15-goal Orchard Hill (Frank Evans, Max Secunda, Felipe Vercellino, Lucas Criado) started out with a 2-0 lead and reeled off three unanswered goals for a 5-1 advantage early in the second chukker against 17-goal La Dalila (Pablo Dorignac, Tommy Beresford, Frank Ayala, Agustin Molinas).

Orchard Hill had leads of 6-3, 9-3, 12-4 and 12-5 before La Dalila scored four unanswered goals in the final chukker. Evans, a minus-one player and at 64, the oldest player in the tournament, continues to play well after only four years of playing polo. Evans played league hockey throughout his life in the New Jersey area and was a member of adult league national championship teams.


Teenager Nico Escobar made his debut and joined another new teammate, Salvador Lockei, replacing U.S. Open players Matias Torres Zavaleta and Diego Cavanagh dropping the team from 23 to 11 goals.

The 11-goal Valiente II (Rob Jornayvaz, Salvador Lockei, Nico Escobar, Tomas Garcia del Rio) was still extremely competitive against 6-goal Sebucan (Justin Daniels, Pablo Pulido, Alfredo Gerreno, Benji Daniels).

Valiente II overcame its 5-goal deficit in the second chukker when Escobar scored on a breakaway to tie the game at 6-6. Garcia del Rio scored early in the third chukker for a 7-6 lead but Benji Daniels scored the first of his three goals to regain the lead, 8-7. The game was tied one more time before Valiente II took advantage of its scoring machine Garcia del Rio. All three one-goalers played well above their handicap for Valiente II.


Adolfo Cambiaso and his 11-year-old son Poroto Cambiaso played together for the first time in a U.S. tournament. The father and son have practiced together and played in fun tournaments in Argentina, but never had the opportunity to play together in the U.S. until now.

Bob Jornayvaz and Pablo Spinacci dropped off the 18-goal team in favor of the 14-goal Valiente I (Poroto Cambiaso, Bautista Panelo, Robertito Zedda, Adolfo Cambiaso) to play against 7-goal Deeridge (Will Jacobs, Santos Bollini, Lucas Lalor, Wes Finlayson).

While Deeridge may have lost, it was the opportunity of a lifetime for teenagers Will Jacobs, 14, a minus-one player, and Santos Bollini, 16, a 0-goal player, to play against the sport's version of LeBron James. Lalor turned to Jacobs in the players' tent before the game and encouraged him to "enjoy this."

The $100,000 World Cup will resume Thursday with the semifinals and the following order of play:
-11am: Orchard Hill vs. Valiente I, at Valiente Polo Farm Field 3.
-4pm: Valiente II vs. Palm Beach Illustrated, at Valiente Polo Farm, Field 1.
-Saturday, at 4 pm, Final at Grand Champions Polo Club, Field 2.