BN Polo defeated Master Paints and Newage Cables by 12-6 in the Century Ventures National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2023 main final played here at the crowded Lahore Polo Club on Sunday.
Hamza Mawaz Khan emerged as a hero of the main final as he fired in five fabulous goals while he was ably supported by foreign players Tito Ruiz Guinazu and Elena Venot, who contributed with two and three goals respectively while Babar Naseem converted one goal. For Master Paints/Newage Cables, Simon Prado hammered a hat-trick while Juan Cruz Greguol banged in a brace and Raja Temur Nadeem scored one goal.
BN Polo was off to a flying start in the grand finale as they thrashed in three goals – two by Hamza and one by Tito Ruiz – to take a 3-0 lead while Master Paints/Newage’s Simon Prado converted one before the end of the first chukker to make it 1-3. Prado added one more in his team’s tally in the beginning of the second chukker to further reduce the margin to 2-3. But BN bounced back well by banging in a brace – one each by Hamza and Tito Ruiz – to stretch their lead to 5-2.
The third chukker began with a field goal by Raja Temur that helped MP/Newage make it 3-5 but BN Polo converted two back-to-back goals through Hamza and Babar to enhance their lead to 7-3. The highly-charged fourth chukker saw BN Polo cracked a quartet – two by Elena and one each by Tito and Hamza – to gain a healthy 11-3 lead while MP/Newage scored three goals – two by Greguol and one by Prado – to reduce the deficit to 6-11. In the fifth and decisive chukker, BN Polo struck the only goal through Elena Venot to win the historic event by 12-6.
Earlier in the Subsidiary Final, Team FG Polo outpaced DS Polo by 10-6. For FG Polo, Juan Ambroggio emerged as top scorer with a contribution of five goals while Abbas Mukhtar struck a hat-trick and Ramiro Zavaleta banged in a brace. For DS Polo, Javier Gurrero thrashed in three goals while Hissam Ali Hyder scored two and Bilal Haye hit one goal.
The chief guest of the final was Chairman Pakistan Polo Association Lt Gen Khalid Zia while Club President Umar Sadiq, Directors of Century Ventures Pvt. Ltd. Ayaz Lakhani, Kamran Afzal, Wasim Mazhar, Nazia Wasim, Secretary of PPA Lt Col Ayaz Mahmood, LPC executive committee members, players, their families and a large number of spectators were also present on the occasion.
In the end, the chief guest distributed prizes among the winners, runners-up and top performers and also honoured the organizers and club staff (Faisal Mahmood, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan, Munawar Iqbal, Ali Ahmed and Muhammad Khalid). Ibrahim Sultan was awarded in -2 to 0 category, Basel Faisal Khokhar in 0 to 2 category and Agha Musa Ali Khan in 2 to 4 category.
The most valuable pakistani player of the season award was handed over to Hamza Mawaz Khan and the best foreign player of the tournament to Tito Ruiz Guinazu. Simon Prado of Master Paints scored the most goals in the tournament. The best Pakistani mare of the tournament was awarded to Raja Temur Nadeem’s mare 11-481. The Syed Wajid Ali Shah trophy was awarded to Kamila, a foreign mare owned by Babar Naseem.
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