Augustus Aguirre and the Philippine men’s polo team will shoot for the gold medal against Malaysia in the A Division 4-6 Goals polo competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at 3 p.m. today at the Iñigo Zobel Polo Facility in Calatagan, Batangas.
Aguirre, 26, who has been playing professional polo in Australia for many years, said they are expecting the Malaysians to adjust and double their effort.
“They are going to be tough mas marami silang magagaling na players sa amin (they have more good players than us). They are more balanced and much talented,” said Aguirre.
Aguirre will be depending on teammates Eduardo Lopez, Stefano Juban and Tomas Bitong.
The Philippines lost to Brunei in Sunday’s opener (8-8 ½) then beat Malaysia (8-1/2-5) on Tuesday before routing Indonesia (6-4 ½) on Thursday.
Malaysia thumped Indonesia (11-7 ½) then cruised past Brunei (8-5 1-2) both on Thursday.
Malaysia beat Brunei to the finals by more than two goals. Though three teams carry similar 2-1 win-loss records, the Philippines and Malaysia reached the gold medal round because they have the highest recorded goals in the preliminary.
“Even if you beat them the last time, the finals is an absolutely different game. You are not going to think about what happened the other day,” said Aguirre.
“They have the experience. I am experiencing the greatest pressure since I’m leading the team. Sure thing the Malaysians will be ganging up on me.”
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