PLAYBOOK FROM PALERMO: THE GANG OF FIVE RATTLES THE OLD GUARD IN OPENING WEEKEND
PoloChannel Staff | 11/20/18
Several players competed for their first times ever at Palermo in last weekend’s opening games of the Argentine Open. Four of them were forces in spinning their teams into victory, and a fifth gets honorable mention for holding his ground against a slate of seasoned players. Although new to Palermo, all five are familiar faces in top tournaments in various countries, and they gave the Palermo stalwarts something to think about. La Ensenada is gunning to do it again tomorrow, this time against La Aguada.
Here are the highlights of how the five performed in their Palermo debut—and why the high-goal teams have something to worry about.
LA ENSENADA’S ARSENAL: JUAN BRITOS, JUAN MARTIN ZUBIA, JERONIMO DEL CARRIL
On opening day, La Ensenada’s youthful foursome provided a balanced performance to defeat higher-rated Alegria-La Irenita 18-14. The explosive offensive performance saw Juan Britos, Juan Martin Zubia and Jeronimo del Carril each score four field goals.
- Britos once again led the offensive attack, finishing with a game-high eight goals, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the penalty line.
- He was everywhere in the game for a total 10 shots. He provided the offensive spark that propelled La Ensenada over the edge.
- Key Moment: 3 consecutive goals over 1st and 2nd chukkers that turned a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead
JUAN MARTIN ZUBIA
- The offensive running mate with Britos, Zubia was crucial to La Ensenada’s success, scoring five goals, including a perfect 100% from the field on 4-for-4 shooting.
- The throw-in wins per game leader coming into the Argentine Open, Zubia continued that trend with five more throw-in wins to lead the team.
- Key Moment: Goals came at important times, as three of Zubia’s five goals ended runs for Alegria-La Irenita: chukker 1 (after two straight Alegria goals), chukker 3 (after four straight
JERONIMO DEL CARRIL
- Normally a defensive player for La Ensenada, Jeronimo del Carril made his impact offensively, scoring four goals, including two from outside 60 yards.
- Key Moment: He scored one goal in each of the final three chukkers during critical times. He also broke 12-12 and 13-13 ties and made the final goal to seal the victory.
LA ALBERTINA’S ACE IN THE HOLE: NIC ROLDAN
It’s hard to believe that this top U.S. player has never competed at Palermo before. He has certainly made his mark everywhere else. So no surprise here when he helped La Albertina clobber La Cañada Daily Racing Form 18-10 on Sunday. Coming off a strong showing in the Hurlingham Open that saw him score 10 goals on 50% shooting, Roldan displayed a good performance in his Argentine Open debut, making two goals on four shots.
- While Roldan wasn’t the offensive leader for La Albertina in the game, his impact was felt as he worked tirelessly to free up Francisco Elizalde and Ignacio Toccalino for runs. That was especially so with regard to Elizalde, who finished with seven goals in the game.
- Roldan has fit seamlessly into La Albertina’s balanced offense and has provided a threat to score downfield that requires the attention of the defense and frees up space in the game for his teammates.
- Key Moment: Roldan finished off a run-off a pass from Alfredo Cappella at the end of the fourth chukker to give La Albertina an 8-6 lead.
LA CANADA-DRF’S PENALTY PRODIGY: JARED ZENNI
Despite being the lowest-rated player along with Agustin Obregon at 6 goals, young Jared Zenni has been given the responsibility of being the primary penalty taker for La Canada, and he looks to be playing above his handicap, active on both sides of the ball.
- Zenni shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the penalty line in his first game in the Argentine Open, to lead his team with five goals.
- An important part of La Cañada’s defense, Zenni was active in slowing the force of Roldan and Elizalde in the opening half, keeping La Cañada within two goals, but the second half got away from La Cañada as La Albertina ran away with the game.
- Key Moment: Zenni’s100 % from the penalty line kept La La Cañada in the game for the opening half
Photography: Helen Cruden