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Grant Ganzi and Lorenzo Merlotti.

Lorenzo Merlotti and Wesley Finlayson.

Lucas Diaz Alberdi.

Mimi Gracida, Wesley Finlayson, Juan Bollini and Best Playing Pony Prada, owned by Halo Polo.

Mrs. George Oliver, Michelle Gracida, Wesley Finlayson, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Mimi Gracida, Juancito Bollini and Grant Ganzi.

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Grand Champions Wins 2015 George Oliver Memorial; Defeats 11-3

Written by: Alannah Castro
Client: International Polo Club Palm Beach
Release Date: 2015-04-18

Wellington, FL - April 18, 2015Grand Champions defeated 11-3 in the George Oliver Memorial at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) on Friday. Most Valuable Player was Lucas Diaz Alberdi, and the Nelly R. Loeb Sportsmanship award was given to Juancito Bollini. Best Playing Pony went to Prada, owned by Halo Polo and ridden by Wesley Finlayson.

Grand Champions                 

Grant Ganzi                                       Jack McLean

Juancito Bollini                                   Lorenzo Merlotti

Lucas Diaz Alberdi                             Matias Gonzalez

Wesley Finlayson                               Santi Torres

From start to finish, the young players in the George Oliver Memorial showed an understanding of the game of polo that belied their age. Grand Champions took off to an early lead with back-to-back penalty conversions by Wesley Finlayson. Both teams made big runs on goal, battling to keep control of the ball, with the score 2-0 at the end of the first chukker.

Santi Torres rocketed out of the throw-in, streaking toward goal with his teammates backing him up. Torres left it in the goalmouth for Matias Gonzalez to tap in and cut Grand Champions’ lead in half. Torres and Gonzalez teamed up again on the next play to tie the game 2-all. Lucas Diaz Alberdi made an excellent belly shot for Finlayson to drive in, making the score 3-2 at the end of the half.

Juancito Bollini converted to pull away from 4-2 and then cemented the Grand Champions lead by converting a safety. Finlayson continued his streak from the penalty line and drove another goal in for Grand Champions. Bollini racked up back-to-back penalty conversions to end the third chukker 8-2. 

Alberdi accelerated into a breakaway to drive a pass upfield for Grant Ganzi to shoot in for a goal. More fast-paced play ensued as both teams jockeyed for possession. Bollini walked up and drove in a penalty conversion to take his team to double digits and make the score 10-2 in favor of Grand Champions.

Gonzalez took the ball out of the air on his way to goal, showing his speed and ball-handling skills simultaneously before taking his shot and making the score 10-3.  Alberdi promptly responded with another goal of his own, driving in the final goal of the game.

For Juancito Bollini, the tournament was a great opportunity to have fun and reconnect with friends.

"It was my first time in a long time playing with Lucas. He came from Argentina to play this tournament, and it was a lot of fun," said Bollini.

Grant Ganzi felt that teamwork is what made Grand Champions such a force to be reckoned with on the field.

"I thought we had a really good team execution of the plan. We all worked for each other really hard," he said. 


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