To say John Gobin had a good weekend would be an understatement.
His team, Raleigh/Comcast, won the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 12-10 victory over La Martina in the finals. And on top of that, he was awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time after winning it in 2009.
A better word to describe the three-day tournament that ended with a championship celebration?
“Awesome,” Gobin said. “It was a great atmosphere with everyone just having fun and having a good time. Only a select number of players get to come down here and enjoy it. … It’s a lot to brag about all summer.”
Raleigh/Comcast, along with La Martina, were the two winners of a three-way shootout early Sunday afternoon to determine who would play in the championship match later in the day, setting the stage for an exciting finish to the ninth annual tournament.
La Martina, led by 19-year-old rising star Santi Torres, had a strong first half and took a 6-4 lead over Raleigh Comcast at the halfway mark.
But Gobin, scoring the first goal of the second half just seconds into the third chukker, and teammate Juan Monteverde surged Raleigh/Comcast ahead, combining for six points in the third chukker to swing the momentum back in their favor.
Torres tallied six goals, including both goals for the team in the fourth chukker, for La Martina to cap off an impressive tournament. But it wasn’t enough.
Gobin and Monteverde each finished the match with six goals apiece, with Monteverde icing the game in the final thirty seconds of the fourth chukker with a goal to put Raleigh/Comcast ahead by two points.
"It was a great game, a fun game that was played clean and fast and I think the crowd loved it," Gobin said. "It was a good showing for polo."
In the first match of the afternoon, Merchant Hub and James Hotel/JetBlue battled in a back-and-forth affair which ended in a 10-10 draw. Luis Escobar had a team-high five goals for Merchant Hub while Oxcar Mancini led James Hotel/JetBlue with five goals, as well.
Grey Goose, after losing out on a chance to play in the championship match, defeated Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) 11-9 thanks to a solid performance from Guille Usandizaga. The Argentinean scored five goals to lead his team to the win and a third-place finish in the tournament.