Lahore : Diamond Paints lifted the Bank Alfalah National Open Polo Championship trophy after beating spirited BN Polo team by 7-5 in the action-packed final played here at the jam-packed Lahore Polo Club ground on Sunday.
Business Head Central East Bank Alfalah Syed Muhammad Talal Raza and South African High Commissioner in Pakistan M Madikiza graced the occasion as chief guests and distributed prizes and shields among the winners and top performers. Other prominent ones present on the occasion were IOC member in Pakistan Syed Shahid Ali, Lahore Polo Club President Omer Sadik, executive committee members, polo players and their families, who all strictly followed Covid-19 SOPs and played positive role in making the event and especially the final a success.
Diamond Paints were off to a flying start and maintained their lead till the end. The winning side dominated the first three chukkers well while BN Polo though made a good comeback in the fourth and fifth chukkers, but Diamond Paints also added crucial goals in their tally and when the final whistle was blown, Diamond Paints emerged as winners of the prestigious premier polo event of the country and also grabbed the glittering trophy.
Raul Laplacette emerged as top scorer from the winning side with a contribution of fantastic four goals while Saqib Khan Khakwani and struck a brace and Ramiro Zavletta hit one goal. From the losing side, Juan Maria Ruiz Tito and Eulogio Celestino banged in a brace each while Raja Mikail Sami scored one. The subsidiary final was won by Barry’s, who outpaced DS Polo/ASC by 7-4.
At the concluding ceremony, the coveted National Open trophy was handed over to team Diamond Paints while BN Polo team received runners-up trophy. Basil Faisal Khokhar received emerging talent award, Leenah Barry the best lady player award, Shaharyar Khan was handed the best spirit of polo award, Arib Ali Malik the best player of –2-0 category, Mir Huzaifa Ahmed the best player of 0-2 category, Raja Mikail Sami the best player of 2-4 category.
Lolly 11720 was declared the best pony of Pakistan and the award was received by Col Saleem Baboo and Lt Col Zulfiqar, Chakrera was named the best pony of the tournament and her award was received by Diamond Paints’ Mir Shoaib Ahmed, while Hissam Ali Hyder was handed the best Pakistani player award, Raul Laplacette of Diamond Paints was declared the player of the tournament and Ernesto Trotz was of Barry’s handed the award of scoring the most goal of the tournament.
Lahore Polo Club President Omer Sadik thanked his entire team for successfully organizing the premier national tournament and especially expressed his gratitude to sponsors Bank Alfalah for supporting the game of kings and knights and especially sponsoring the most prestigious tournament of Pakistan “National Open Polo Championship 2021 for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup” and hoped that they would continue their support for this beautiful game.