LAHORE: The PBG Risala outclassed ASC Polo Team by 12-6 to clinch the prestigious Zameen National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup, which concluded at the Lahore Polo Club.

Pakistan-National Open Polo Championship 2020: PBG Risala the winners with the chief guest and Lahore Polo Club officials – Courtesy: LPC

The President’s Bodyguard Risala has won the esteemed Quaid-e-Azam National Open Polo Championship 2020 after a period of 43 years. The last PBG Team earned the winning title was back in 1977.

High-flying Nicholas A Recaite was hero of the main final as he smashed in superb seven goals from the winning side while phenomenal Raja Mikael Sami hammered a hat-trick and spirited Hamza Mawaz Khan banged in a beautiful brace. Eulogio Celestino played well for ASC and contributed with a hat-trick while Dfr Shahzad thrashed in two goals and Mumtaz Abbas Niazi struck one goal.

ASC dominated the final right from the word go as they thrashed in two back-to-back goals – one each by Mumtaz Abbas Niazi and Eulogio Celestino – to gain a 2-0 lead. Soon Hamza Mawaz came from behind and fired in a field goal for PBG to reduce the margin to 2-1. Eulogio Celestino then had the possession of the ball and successfully put it into the polls to strengthen the ASC lead to 3-1 just before end of the first chukker.

The second chukker saw PBG fighting back well and converting two fabulous field goals to equalise the score at 3-all. After that, both the sides tried to best to score more and in this struggle, ASC succeeded to fire in one more through Eulogio Celestino to have a slight 4-3 edge. In the third chukker, PBG made another comeback by malleting two tremendous field goals through Nicholas Recaite to get back 5-4 lead.

The fourth chukker saw total dominance of the PBG, who fired in fabulous five goals to take a healthy 10-4 lead. This time, Nicholas Recaite contributed with a hat-trick and Raja Mikael with a brace. In the fifth and last chukker of the final, both the sides fought well against each other and succeeded in converting two goals each. From PBG, Nicholas pumped in a brace while Shahzad banged in a brace for ASC, as PBG won the final by 12-6. Nicholas Scortichini and Martin Fewster officiated the final as field umpires while George Meyrick was match referee.

Earlier in the subsidiary final, Pebble Breaker overwhelmed Guard Group/Artema Medical by 11-5. Juan Cruz Losada and Ahmed Ali Tiwana played equally well for Pebble Breaker and contributed with a quartet each while Raja Jalal Arslan banged in a brace and Bilal Haye converted one. From Guard Group/Artema Medical, Raja Temur Nadeem hammered a hat-trick while Taimur Ali Malik thrashed in two goals.

Besides the team awards the following players were recognized based on respective performances:

  • Raja Mikael Sami was awarded the most valuable Pakistani player.
  • Most valuable foreign player was Nicholas A Recaite.
  • The player final award went to Mumtaz Abbas Niazi,
  • Emerging talent award went to Raha Jalal Arslan.
  • Highest goal scorer of Zameen National Open Polo to Nicholas.
  • Best playing polo pony (local) to Magic owned by Lt Col Rabnawaz Tiwana.
  • Best playing polo pony (foreign) owned by Mir Shoaib Ahmed.
  • The best player award of -2 to 0 category to Agha Adam Ali Khan.
  • The best player 0 to 2 category to Daniyal Sheikh.
  • The best player award 2 to 4 category to Raja Samiullah.

Jahangir Khan Tareen the chief guest, along with Zameen.com CEO Imran Ali Khan and Zeeshan Ali Khan, distributed prizes and shields among the winners and top performers.

Prior to the main final, the pack-to-capacity Lahore Polo Club also saw HOG Pakistan bikers displaying heavy bikes show, followed by tent-pegging demonstration by two renowned tent-pegging clubs of the country, who amused the spectators with their superb skills and techniques.