Three rounds of the NetJets Pacific Coast Open sped by in a flash, with each game at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (SBPRC) in Carpinteria, California, more thrilling than the last. With only one weekend of bracket play remaining, the five teams vying for the title edge closer to the semifinals, which will take place on Friday, August 26.
Klentner Ranch (Jake Klentner*, Jesse Bray*, Santiago Toccalino, Justin Klentner) and BenSoleimani.com (Ben Soleimani, Lucas “Luckitas” Criado Jr., Iñaki Laprida, sub. Nico Escobar*) both competed the last three rounds without a bye, following winning titles in the America Cup (Klentner Ranch) and Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup (BenSoleimani.com) in the first week of bracket play. Leading the standings each at 2-1, these two competitive teams have firmly cemented themselves in a preferable position as the semifinals approach.
Farmers & Merchants Bank Peke Gonzalez reaches for the hook on BenSoleimani.com’s Nico Escobar.
Farmers and Merchants Bank (FMB) (Danny Walker, Lucas Criado, Facundo Obregon, Peke Gonzalez) and L.I.N.Y. (Santino Magrini*, Paquito de Narvaez, Kristos “Keko” Magrini*, sub. Poroto Cambiaso) both sit at 1-1. Each winning and losing a match, both teams will have to execute on both sides of the ball this coming week to work towards earning a spot in the coveted semifinals. Still attempting to find their footing, Antelope (Grant Palmer, Joaquin Avendaño, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Felipe Vercellino) currently sit at 0-2 following two narrow losses and will need to pull out all the stops to keep themselves in contention.
Poroto Cambiaso stepped in for L.I.N.Y. to aid in a victory against Klentner Ranch.
Kicking off Friday’s competition, Klentner Ranch overpowered BenSoleimani.com 17-14 in a redemption to deliver BenSoleimani.com their first loss of the tournament. Later in the day, FMB narrowly crept past Antelope 12-11 in the final moments of regulation.
Taking the field again on Sunday, BenSoleimani.com rebounded from their previous loss to overtake FMB 14-11, while the addition of 9-goaler Cambiaso gave L.I.N.Y. an extra push to halt Klentner Ranch’s undefeated streak with a convincing 13-6 victory.
Action in the Pacific Coast Open resumes on Friday, August 19 at 1:00pm PT/4:00pm ET with L.I.N.Y. meeting Antelope followed by FMB facing Klentner Ranch at 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET.
Sunday’s play will see BenSoleimani.com clashing with Antelope at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET, with the featured game of the week showcasing a battle between L.I.N.Y. and FMB at 3:00pm PT/6:00pm ET. All games of the Pacific Coast Open are available exclusively on Global Polo TV.
*Kristos ‘Keko’ Magrini is an Active Team USPA Members and Nico Escobar is a Graduating Team USPA Member. Jake Klentner, Jesse Bray and Santino Magrini are Team USPA alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.