Semifinals for the All Asia Cup 2016 are around the corner with the games that will face Thailand with Philippines and Indonesia with Malaysian Tigers. And even though polo is a team sport, in which the four players are important, there is always someone who stands out over others. Pololine spoke with 4 players that are leaving their mark in the tournament and also it’s worth to keep an eye on them.
Adrián García (Philippines): “;I Play polo since I was 12, now I’m 23. My father played for 30 years, mi brother Anthony was a 5-goal, played when he was young and then became a professional. My younger brother, Andrew, is also playing the tournament. I play 6 months in Philippines and also in the USA with Anthony. I like playing as a back because you have more vision, and I also like watching my teammates score and starting from the back. My brother plays as a back when he plays so I learnt a lot from him. It means a lot to me to represent my country. We have Manny Pacquiao in boxing, we are not very popular in soccer or basketball so it feels really good. Everyone wants to be a 10-goal but you need to stay realistic and I want to be the best player I can. At the moment we only focus in Philippines and USA, but maybe in the future we can go to the UK or Argentina”.
Saladin Mazlan (Malaysian Tigers): “;This is a great tournament to play in. And we know really well with some of the teams, like Philippines or Indonesia. It’s really good to bring all together in a tournament like this and play for your country. At the moment I’m happy with my polo level. I’ve been playing for many years now, I’m not young anymore. And in Malaysia we are trying to promote the young so they can play and keep on winning experience. We have a very strong league in Malaysia and that’s maybe why the players have more experience than in other countries. I started playing when I was 10, now I’m 39. But I quit playing in between because I used to be a professional rally racer. Polo took me to places like South Korea, China, Philippines, and is good to see how polo is growing in those places. Hope we have a good semifinals. All the teams are strong, they all want to win and is a great tournament”.
Novel Momongan (Indonesia): “;I started to play polo 10 years ago, in 2005, at the Siam Polo Park, in Pattaya. Our patron took some players there and I was one of them. Is very important for us to play this tournament because in Indonesia we only have one club, one field and it was built in 2007. Is also important for everyone to see that we play polo in Indonesia. I think the team has been so far so good. I think we play well as a team, we’ve been together for a long time, we have a good coach, and they take care of us. I like playing as a back. We grew in many aspects in these 10 years: we hit well, we have good coordination, teamwork, many things. Polo took me to places like Argentina, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, France and Korea. My goal in polo is that polo in Indonesia keep on growing, but I dream with playing medium or high goal in UK, USA or Argentina some time”.
Nat Pratumlee (Thailand): “;I started to play polo when I was 10, 16 years ago. And I’ve been to places like Malaysia, USA, UK, China, Indonesia, Argentina. This tournament is important because I hope it helps to push polo for next year SEA games in Malaysia. I’m feeling well with my polo at the moment. Many teams have improved a lot, like Mongolia. And my position depends on the game, on team we are playing against. I can play in each position. But I like playing as a number 3, or as a number 4, take the ball, hit long. This cup is very important, I wan to win so I do my best”.