LAHORE        -           The PBG Risala outclassed ASC Polo Team by 12-6 to clinch the country’s most prestigious Zameen National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup here at jam-packed Lahore Polo Club ground on Sunday.

It is worth mentioning here that 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 emerged as star of the final by smashing in superb seven goals while phenomenal Raja Mikael Sami hammered a hat-trick and Hamza Mawaz Khan banged in a 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.

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. Hamza Mawaz then fired in a field goal for PBG to reduce the margin to 2-1 while Eulogio put the ball into the polls to strengthen the ASC’s lead to 3-1 just before the end of the first chukker. In the second chukker, PBG fought back well and converted two fabulous field goals to equalise the score at 3-all. After that, ASC succeeded to convert one more goal through Eulogio to have a slight 4-3 edge.

In the third chukker, PBG made another comeback by malleting two tremendous field goals through Nicholas to get back 5-4 lead. PBG fully dominated the fourth chukker as they fired in fantastic five goals to enjoy a healthy 10-4 lead. This time, Nicholas contributed with a hat-trick and Mikael with a brace. In the fifth and last chukker, both the teams slammed in two goals each. From PBG, Nicholas pumped in a brace while Shahzad banged in a brace for ASC, as PBG won the final 12-6. Nicholas Scortichini and Martin Fewster officiated the final as field umpires while George Meyrick was match referee.

Jahangir Khan Tareen graced the final as chief guest, who along with CEOs Imran Ali Khan and Zeeshan Ali Khan, distributed prizes and shields among the winners and top performers. Other notables present on the occasion were Zameen Country Head Ahmad Bhatti, Lahore Polo Club President Malik Atif Yaar Tiwana, executive committee members, players, their families and a great number of polo lovers.

At the prize distribution ceremony, Raja Mikael Sami was awarded the most valuable Pakistani player while most valuable foreign player was Nicholas A Recaite. The player of the 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 and the best player award 2 to 4 category to Raja Samiullah.

The best performance awards were also given away to LPC staffers M Irfan (Manager Accounts), M Imran Iqbal (Assistant Polo Manager), Faisal Mehmood (Assistant Manager Accounts), M Jamil (Head Groundman), Ali Ahmed (Time Keeper), M Iqbal (Head Waiter) and M Ashraf (Best Trainer). Prior to the main final, the pack-to-capacity Lahore Polo Club also saw 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.

Earlier in the subsidiary final, Pebble Breaker overwhelmed Guard Group/Artema Medical by 11-5. From Pebble Breaker, Juan Cruz Losada and Ahmed Ali Tiwana cracked a quartet each while Raja Jalal Arslan struck two and Bilal Haye one. From Guard Group, Raja Temur Nadeem hammered a hat-trick and Taimur Ali Malik two goals.