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CAMBIASOS RAISE FIRST USPA GOLD CUP® TOGETHER WITH HISTORIC SCONE VICTORY

Mar 29, 2021 12:06 PM

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2021 USPA Gold Cup® Champions- Scone - David Paradice, Poroto Cambiaso, Peke Gonzalez, Adolfo Cambiaso.
2021 USPA Gold Cup® Champions: Scone - David Paradice, Poroto Cambiaso, Peke Gonzalez, Adolfo Cambiaso.

Narrowly missing their opportunity at the C.V. Whitney Cup® with an overtime defeat, Scone returned in the second tournament of the GAUNTLET OF POLO® determined to carve their name on the prestigious trophy. Finding themselves in a rematch during the USPA Gold Cup® Semifinals, Scone successfully thwarted GAUNTLET contenders Park Place on their way to the USPA Gold Cup® Final on Sunday, March 28. Competing against Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Lucas Escobar*, Sapo Caset, Francisco Elizalde), the only undefeated team in the tournament, Scone (David Paradice, Adolfo Cambiaso, Poroto Cambiaso, Peke Gonzalez*) opened strong and quickly extended their lead with effective plays and finesse to claim the 13-10 victory and $100,000. Although a veteran of the tournament with an impressive 15 titles to his credit since 1991, Cambiaso had yet to raise the trophy with his son until now.

Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso making a play on the ball while engaged in a ride-off with Tonkawa's Francisco Elizalde.
Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso making a play on the ball, Tonkawa's Francisco Elizalde moving in for a powerful bump.

Winning the majority of throw-ins in the first chukker, Scone immediately put Tonkawa on the defensive as they raced to land on the scoreboard. Playing the game with an uncanny resemblance to his father, Poroto Cambiaso scored back-to-back goals, making a breakaway and running almost the length of the field. Entering the second down by three, Tonkawa’s captain Sapo Caset seized an opportunity to break the silence, stealing the ball and charging to goal on Niña Loli. Adding consecutive Penalty 4 conversions to the tally, Adolfo Cambiaso’s steady shooting ended the second 6-1 in Scone’s favor.

Receiving a perfectly placed pass from Adolfo Cambiaso, Gonzalez took the ball to goal with a nearside neckshot to open the third. Having difficulty making a dent in the gap, Tonkawa managed to score late in the chukker with a booming neckshot by Caset escorted to goal by Elizalde. The father son duo adding a final goal, Scone entered halftime with the 8-3 advantage.

Coming back in the fourth, Tonkawa fought to stay in the game but Scone continued to have the upper hand throughout the second half. Finding his son in position, Cambiaso hit the ball out of the pack of defenders to Poroto who took it to goal in the fourth. Following it up with an incredibly precise Penalty 5 conversion by the 10-goaler, Scone continued to dominate the field as they closed in on the win.

“I think Cambiaso gives players on his team a lot of confidence. He's very diligent and determined and everything he does is about winning. He's a true professional.”  – David Paradice, Scone team owner

Tonkawa's Sapo Caset preparing the nearside neckshot under pressure from Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso.
Tonkawa's Sapo Caset with a nearside neckshot under pressure from Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso.

Landing on the scoreboard for the first time, Escobar received a pass and carried the bouncing ball to goal for Tonkawa but the Cambiasos retaliated with a neckshot each to end the fifth 12-5. Although missing costly penalty opportunities earlier in the game, Caset added two penalty conversions in the sixth and contributed to five consecutive goals for Tonkawa. However, Scone’s initial lead proved insurmountable and they secured the trophy 13-10.

Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso captured his 15th USPA Gold Cup® title, his first coming in 1991.
Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso captured his fifteenth USPA Gold Cup® title.

“I love the intensity, but it’s hard work, really hard. An older guy like me having the opportunity to play with some of the best in the game isn’t something that happens in other sports. It’s great being told where to go on the field by the greatest player that’s ever played.”  – David Paradice

In addition to the title, Scone received $100,000 in prize money while Tonkawa was awarded $25,000 as the runners-up. In partnership with USPA Global Licensing, this year’s GAUNTLET OF POLO® embraced the spirit of giving with non-profit charities chosen by the finalists also receiving a donation. Scone chose to divide the $5,000 between Polo Training Foundation (PTF) and Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) while Tonkawa contributed to Polo Players Support Group (PPSG) and PTF.

Scone’s 15-year-old Poroto Cambiaso was named Most Valuable Player. “It’s a pleasure to play with Scone and incredible to play with my father,” Poroto Cambiaso said. “Winning with my dad is an opportunity that very few people have so I am very grateful for that and I really have to thank David Paradice.” Winning his first USPA Gold Cup® at 15 years old, Adolfo Cambiaso is seeing the family legacy come full circle with his son after just recently winning the 2020 King Power Gold Cup together in England with Next Generation. “Winning with my son is even better,” Adolfo Cambiaso said. “To play with the Cambiasos and be part of this historical win is amazing,” Paradice commented.

Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso celebrating the USPA Gold Cup® victory for the first time with his son Poroto.
Scone's Adolfo Cambiaso celebrating the USPA Gold Cup® victory for the first time with his son Poroto.

This is the first season Gonzalez has played with Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso. “In the beginning I was a little nervous but now thankfully I think we've got a pretty good system,” Gonzalez said. “My role is to open up space for them, but also we have a system where we rotate a lot. I think we’ve been doing well and hopefully we can keep it up in the U.S. Open Polo Championship®.” Playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso has given Gonzalez an opportunity any young polo player would find incredibly valuable to their game. “He’s [Cambiaso] pushed us, me and Poroto, on the field to be consistent with our attitude, keep on going, be tough, not lose any plays and be consistent all the time,” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes you have ups and downs in the game and he’s always pushing us, ‘come on, come on.’ And obviously he’s a great player, but that consistency with attitude is amazing.”

Best Playing Pony honors were presented to 9-year-old Caña Monjita Coronada (Dolfina Cuarteto x Chapaleufú Tapera) played by Adolfo Cambiaso in the fourth and second half of the sixth chukker.

Best Playing Pony Caña Monjita Coronada, played by Adolfo Cambiaso. Pictured with Eastern Circuit Governor Joe Muldoon, Juan Martin Aneas and Rito Avalos.
Best Playing Pony Caña Monjita Coronada, played by Adolfo Cambiaso and presented by USPA Eastern Circuit Governor Joe Muldoon. Pictured with Rito Avalos and Juan Martin Aneas.

Reaching the final of the first two tournaments and still with one tournament left to go, Scone has distinguished itself as a solid organization. “You learn a lot by playing with these guys and listening to them,” Gonzalez said. “It's a unique experience that makes you better on the field and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.”

Exercising the discipline instilled by his father, Poroto Cambiaso is looking ahead to the final tournament of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®. “The truth is that the U.S. Open Polo Championship® is the most important tournament so now we only have a little time to celebrate this win,” Poroto Cambiaso said. “Tomorrow we have to focus on the last tournament because we have a very hard bracket with Park Place and Coca Cola so we are already preparing for the first game.”

Scone's Poroto Cambiaso running ahead of Tonkawa's Francisco Elizalde.
Most Valuable Player Poroto Cambiaso running ahead of Tonkawa's Francisco Elizalde.

Traveling all the way from Australia to play the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, Scone team owner David Paradice was grateful to experience playing at the 22-goal level. “I love the intensity, but it’s hard work, really hard,” Paradice said. “An older guy like me having the opportunity to play with some of the best in the game isn’t something that happens in other sports. It’s great being told where to go on the field by the greatest player that’s ever played.”

The GAUNTLET OF POLO® continues on Monday, March 29, with the third game of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® between Aspen/Dutta Corp and Cessna at 4:00pm ET.

Final Stats.
Scone stats.
Tonkawa stats.

*Peke Gonzalez and Lucas Escobar are Active Team USPA Members. 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.

USPA

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