2019 Gladiator Polo season kicks off with 2 cracking contests
22nd March | Wellington, Florida
The high paced action of Gladiator Polo delivers two fantastic matches on its opening day.
March 16 marked the beginning of the intensely high paced and fan-favorite 4-week polo tournament, Gladiator Polo. Hosted at the US Polo Assn. Coliseum, the opening day’s contests saw Team New York pitted against Team Los Angeles while Team Palm Beach took on Team Dublin in the second event of the day.
The opening contest between New York and Los Angeles was neck and neck for the major chunk of the gameplay. Both teams displayed finesse in the relatively new polo format; putting out a nail-biting contest which culminated in the final chukker of the game.
The game remained in the balance for a large chunk of the gameplay, with the Team of Los Angeles matching the tournament favorites’ right from the beginning. However, Pelon Escapite, Mike Azzarro, and alternate Jesse Bray were able to edge them out in the final chukker and secured a tight 15-14 win for New York. However, a stellar performance from Team Los Angeles’ Santi Toccalino earned him the MVP for the contest. “I scored the penalty shot in the sixth chukker, which made a big difference in the game. They had missed two of their penalties and they’re very good players on that team. We’re all getting familiar with each other and I think it was a great start to the season and there will be some very exciting matches to come in the coming weeks,” said Escapite.
The second game between Team Dublin and Team Palm Beach saw the latter shine with a 12-8 win over the former. Team Palm Beach’s Tommy Biddle led his team from the front, scoring twice while Geronimo Obregon and Toro Ruiz registered 3 or 4 goals respectively.
Biddle commented on his team’s game plan post-match: “It was a pleasure playing with them and it really felt great with these guys tonight. The plan was for them to really work in the back and then I either cut off the back end or pick up the trash plays in front of the goal. They made the goals and they played great,” said Team Palm Beach’s Tommy Biddle. “It’s always our strategy that not everyone needs to go in offensively and that someone needs to stay back and that worked well for us tonight.”