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Argentine Open Championship

Round up of Palermo's opening weekend

November 6, 2017
November 6, 2017
The first weekend at Palermo was filled with sporting and social highlights:

-La Aguada gave a great initial performance in the tournament, beating La Albertina Abu Dhabi by a wide margin. The team seems to have found its groove, and proved they are a team to beat.

-Brothers Nacho and Miguel Novillo Astrada showcased their skills, playing well above their handicap. 

-Alfredo Bigatti continues improving. His success in the Argentina high goal so far highlights the fact that there are many great young players who have what it takes to play the Open, who are just waiting to catch a break.

-The ten team format may have benefitted some teams, but it proves questionable for other reasons, such as the number of games that have no real weight in the tournament. The increase in the number of matches means that players have less time to take part in private tournaments, which help them cover the high costs of polo.  

-Another issue arises with umpiring. While new umpires have to be trained and tested in important matches, only the best umpires should oversee Palermo.  
-The previous point arose during the matches last weekend, where one umpire should have overseen the actions and decisions of three umpires. 

-La Albertina Abu Dhabi had sparked excitement when the team was initially put together, especially considering the talented players who are involved. However, they have yet to find their style of play. They fell hard against La Aguada Las Monjitas on Saturday.

-La Irenita and Cría Yatay are going from strength to strength after having good seasons last year. They have made the most of their possibilities and won games in Hurlingham and Palermo. They are in good positions in the general league table, with three victories a piece. 

-For the first time ever in Palermo, the sin bin rule came into action. A player must now leave the field for two minutes if he receives two yellow cards. However, an umpire can send a player off after only one yellow, if he deems the foul excessively dangerous. The rule was applied on Saturday with Alejandro Novillo Astrada, and on Sunday with Julián de Lusarreta. 

-New coaches debuted in Palermo: Gastón Laulhé was with La Dolfina Polo Ranch and Héctor Guerrero with Cría Yatay. Mariano González coaches La Albertina Abu Dhabi, but he had to travel; in his place was Hugo Barabucci.

-Good decision of the AAP to honor the Argentine national polo team that was crowned in Sydney.

-Alegría stood their ground after the Hurlingham loss. They kept their cool when things got tough against La Dolfina PR and managed to claim a convincing win.

-Three players debuted in the Argentine Open: Rodrigo Rueda and Pascual Sáinz de Vicuña in La Esquina Los Machitos, and Jejo Taranco in La Dolfina Polo Ranch.

-Last weekend marked sixty consecutive seasons of the Heguy’s playing the Open, with Ruso and Pepe continuing the family tradition. The first Heguy’s to ever play were Antonio and his son Horacio (1958), who played alongside another father-son duo, Juan Carlos and Juancarlitos Harriott. Together they claimed the Open for Coronel Suárez.

-Palermo was about more than just polo. The Argentine Association of Polo continued to make changes, this time off the field, introducing music shows, activities for kids, and more. 

- Lastly, those who attended the polo on Sunday had the chance to watch the River vs Boca football match, one of the highlights of Argentine sport, from Palermo. A big screen was installed so that everyone could follow the match. Sapo Caset and Alberto Pedro Heguy were seen enjoying the game.