Argentina Rallies To Win PTF International Cup At Grand Champions Polo Club

All four PTF International teams with awards presenters Gil Johnston and Juan Bollini. Photo by Chiarofoto
All four PTF International teams with awards presenters Gil Johnston and Juan Bollini. Photo by Chiarofoto

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 18, 2018 – With less than two minutes left, Argentina rallied from a two-goal deficit for a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory over PTF USA Saturday to capture the Polo Training Foundation (PTF) International Cup.

Argentina players Santos Bollini, Poroto Cambiaso, Miguel Novillo Astrada Jr. and Francisco Spinacci and Coach Miguel Novillo Astrada.
Argentina players Santos Bollini, Poroto Cambiaso, Miguel Novillo Astrada Jr. and Francisco Spinacci and Coach Miguel Novillo Astrada.

Argentina (Francisco Spinacci, Miguel Novillo Astrada Jr., Poroto Cambiaso, Santos Bollini) was trailing PTF USA (Juanse Olivera, Kristos Magrini, Clark Mayer, Will Jacobs), 3-1, when Cambiaso got the hot mallet and scored back-to-back goals to send the game into overtime.

After a two-minute overtime period, the game went down to six rounds of shootout penalty shots between Cambiaso and Magrini with Cambiaso converting the game-winner in front of a good local crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience.

Poroto Cambiaso of Argentina reaches for the hook. Photo by Chiarofoto
Poroto Cambiaso of Argentina reaches for the hook. Photo by Chiarofoto

For the second year in a row, Poroto Cambiaso, the son of 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso, was named Most Valuable Player. The Sportsmanship Award honor went to Will Jacobs.

Girls International players Mia Cambiaso, Hope Arellano, Riley Ganzi, Mia Novillo Astrada and Coach Alejandro Novillo Astrada.
Girls International players Mia Cambiaso, Hope Arellano, Riley Ganzi, Mia Novillo Astrada and Coach Alejandro Novillo Astrada.

In the consolation final, Girls International (Mia Novillo Astrada, Riley Ganzi, Hope Arellano, Mia Cambiaso), after losing 3-2 in overtime to PTF USA in the semifinal, bounced back with an impressive 3-0 win over Flannels English Colts (Beanie Bradley, George Deverall, Harry Fuller, George Hobbs).

“This is so much fun especially since I have been playing with these girls my whole life,” Ganzi said. “To see each other improve and play so well together is so nice.

Ganzi, a third generation polo player, is among a talented group of players who have come up through the PTF.

“There is such amazing talent at such a young age right now that I have no doubt they will be doing amazing things in their adult life in polo,” Ganzi said.

The Girls International team was the original girls team that went into double overtime against Team USA the first year of the tournament in 2015. For the third year in a row, Mia Novillo Astrada was selected Most Valuable Player. Beanie Bradley earned Sportsmanship honors.

The MVP honor for Cambiaso and Astrada is the Peter Perkins Best Young Player Award. Perkins was a war veteran and polo champion. The former 9-goaler was a two-time U.S. Open champion. He died at age 78 in Delray Beach.

Flannels English Colts teammates George Hobbs, Harry Fuller, George Deverall and Beanie Bradley.
Flannels English Colts teammates George Hobbs, Harry Fuller, George Deverall and Beanie Bradley.

The Flannels English Colts lost to Argentina in the opening semifinal, 2-1, in a shootout. The British team’s participation is part of the PTF-HPA’s annual exchange program. All four, making their U.S. debut, relished the invaluable experience playing on top-caliber horses and well-manicured fields against some of the best youth players in the world.

“This was a big experience for us,” 16-year-old George Hobbs said. “We played them in England but it is different here with the pitch and the horses.”

The team is scheduled to return to England on Monday after competing in the Avendano Memorial Tournament.

APHA Best Playing Pony Regalito, ridden by Riley Ganzi. Photo by ChukkerTV
APHA Best Playing Pony Regalito, ridden by Riley Ganzi. Photo by ChukkerTV

Regalito, a grey gelding ridden by Ganzi and owned by Santa Rita Polo Farm, was named American Polo Horse Association Best registered horse for the game. His groom was awarded $250 by American Polo Horse Association executive director Tiana Smicklas.

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