There was certain curiosity with regards to Ellerstina’s debut at Palermo; they were previously beaten in the last two games of the Hurlingham Open, namely their two last games in the Triple Crown. But after an unfavourable start againt La Irenita Clinova, the Pieres’ lineup found their game and earned a well deserved win, that showcased a display of some good polo, as well. “After we hired Memo (Gracida, the coach), we played four practices in these two weeks; basically, we worked a lot in the team’s system, we wanted to improve the rotation, with Gonza moving ahead. And focus on the horses, move them properly, because some of them didn’t play at Hurlingham and we didn’t play well in our three matches”, Facundo Pieres points out, after Ellerstina’s successul debut in the Argentine Open.
He adds: “We needed the horses to be in good form for Palermo, that’s why we focused on it, too. But, basically, we worked in the team’s dynamics, focusing on playing better, ball possession, improving the marks. And I think we are doing better now”.
Ellerstina ended up earning a 16-8 win over La Irenita Clinova on Palermo’s main field, a victory that included eight goals scored by Facundo, who felt it was very positive. “I am happy for what we did today, if you think how we ended up playing our two last games in Hurlingham, I guess we had a significant improvement. But I think we are able to play even better”.
To Facundo Pieres, one of the year’s most successful players, who won three of the most important tournaments in 2o22, such as the USPA Gold Cup, the US Open – with Pilot – and the British Open – with Park Place -, Palermo is beyond all that, because is what everybody aim at; and everything changes when he puts a foot on the Cathedral’s grounds. And most when he says “yesterday, I was watching on TV the first game and I got nervous by only watching it. Playing at Palermo is a completely different story; the stadium in the middle of the city, this iconic field. To be honest, the three happiest moments of my career as a polo player were on this field. Everytime I came to Palermo, those moments come to my mind, and make me very happy to be here”.
La Esquina will come next for Ellerstina in Palermo; then, Cría La Dolfina and La Dolfina Saudi, in order to aim at their great objective: to be back in the final of the Open after two years absence. “We are determined to play every match like a final; we talked about it, in these two weeks: if we have to play the horses two chukkas, we are going to play them two chukkers, make good lists for every game and respect each team. We are aware that if we don’t play well, we can lose to any team, and if we play well, we can win the Open. So in order to achieve that, we have to go game after game, chukka, after chukka”.