This is a current awareness blog that links to the latest sources of information on Basque Pelota matches and Tournaments. It covers both North and South Basque modalities: Mano, Main Nue, Pala, Paleta, Remonte, Cesta Punta, Jai Alai, and minor modalites. We link to match articles, statistics and video highlights and/or full match videos.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Main Nue--Trinquet Garat Super Prestige singles tournament--Semi-finals

The 23rd Super Prestige is a singles tournament, an EP 2000 competition played at the cathedral of Main Nue, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port's (Donibane Garazi) "Le Garat"(1)(2).

It will be played on Mondays from November 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017 (Note. The tournament competition page shows that the final will be played on January 22, 2017. Originally it had been scheduled for January 8 (see original seeding chart below). The delay is due to a hand injury to Ducassou (source: Esku Pilota website).  This is a seeded singles tournament,  with 2 matches each Monday. The tournament will be played in knockout fashion with 4 "tours", followed by two semi-finals and a final (played on a Sunday). Seeding in one bracket (from low to high) is: Guichandut, X. Lambert, Bilbao, and Larralde. And in the other bracket: Ospital, de Ezcurra, Waltary, and Ducassou. The seeding can be seen graphically here.

2015 SP results

The tournament is organized by Garaziko Pilota (Societe Sportive Goizeko Izarra)

Tournament Competition page

The ongoing results of the tournament will be available on a "ladder" chart. Statistics and commentary for only the most recent Monday matches should be available, but it is unknown whether they will be available for every match. Esku Pilota sometimes puts these statistics into a spreadsheet. If they do, they will be linked to. If not, because of the importance of this tournament, I will copy them.

Tour 1 (November 28, 2016)

Tour 2  (December 5, 2016)

Tour 3 (December 12, 2016)

Tour 4 (December 19, 2016)

Source for match statistics for both matches: H. Ocafrain

December 26, 2016

Semi-Finals

Semi-finals preview article (Pilota Ttiki)

1. Larralde defeated Gonzalez 40-33.

Equalities: 29-29; 30-30; 33-33

Decade linescores: (winner always listed first)

1-9; 9-11; 11-19; 18-22; 23-27; 37-33

Complete linescore: (pelotelive.free.fr)

Time of the match: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 46 seconds; actual playing time: 21:42

Scoring:

Larralde +29 (12 service aces, 6 egindatukoak, 2 xareat, 6 pumpa xare, 1 buruzgain, 1 motz, 1 izkin motz) -3
Gonzalez +30 (12 service aces, 3 egindatukoak, 3 xareat, 4 pumpa xare, 1 ziloat, 2 dejadas, 1 buruzgain, 2 motz, 2 izkin motz) -11

2. Ducassou  defeated Ospital  40-26.

Equalities: 3-3; 4-4; 5-5; 6-6; 10-10; 13-13; 18-18; 19-19

Decade linescores

5-5; 10-10; 16-14; 21-19; 28-22; 34-26

Time of the match: 1:08:56, actual playing time: 23:12

Scoring:

Ducassou +33 (6 service aces, 6 egindatukoak, 8 xareat, 6 pumpa xare, 4 dejadas; 2 motz, 1 izkin motz) -6
Ospital +20 (8 service aces, 3 egindatukoak, 3 pumpa xare, 1 ziloat, 1 burzgain, 1 motz, 3 izkin motz) -7

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

Match article for both matches, an audio interview with Mikel Gonzalez, and full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota).

Match article (Deia) (Castilian)

Video interview with Mikel Gonzalez (EITB) (Castilian)

Full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota Youtube site--see below)

1. Mikel Gonzalez' fabulous unseeded 4 match  run through this tournament was finally ended by the top seeded defending champion. But not without a struggle. This match was book ended by two great runs. Gonzalez blazed out to a 9-0 and then 10-2 lead.  The first 9 points began with a shot banked off the right side wall into the xilo box. That was followed by 2 service aces, a beautiful shot into the dugout mesh, 4 more aces, and a Larralde error. The aces were a perfect mixture of low and high, right and left. But Larralde stayed patient and within himself, not trying to get 5 points with every shot. Within 10 points he was back in the game, but by the end of the third decade he was right back where he was at the end of the first. Another player may have cracked under that kind of pressure, but there is a reason Larralde is at or near the top of the Esku Pilota rankings. Although he held a 1 point lead late in the 5th decade, and achieved equality at 30, Gonzalez once more took a 3 point lead. But that was the last point Gonzalez scored. Larralde, after fighting that hard and long, found the resources to pass and then finish Gonzalez, scoring the last 10 points of the match. It was an amazing display of fitness, determination, and talent. His reward is a rematch in defense of his championship v last year's opponent, Baptiste Ducassou.

Full match video

Note: Youtube segments below may not resolve properly in certain browsers or smart phone apps. Exact times on the videos will be provided for those users. Simply move the slider bar to the times listed. Apologies for any inconvenience caused (Added January 7, 2017)

Gonzalez 0-0--10-2 (0:00--7:50)
Larralde 30-33--40-33(57:02--end of video)


2. This match was much closer and more difficult for Ducassou than the final score indicated. The first half of the match was highlighted by 8 equal scores. The last two decades show how a great player pries open a game from an up and coming young star. It wasn't that Ospital had a bad match. At 29-26, he was still very much "in the game." But from there on, Ducassou completely closed the door. And so there will be a rematch of last year's final, the two best players in the game at present, a front man v a back man, both with unlimited reserves of athleticism, talent, intelligence, and passion. Larralde has had much the better of the last two singles finals they played, the 2016 Championnat de France (40-22) and last year's Super Prestige final (40-26). I wouldn't be surprised if this match goes deep into the 8th decade before a winner is decided on January 22.

Full match video

Ducassou--29-26--40-26 (51:24--end of video)

Mutiple Modalities--The amateur scene regional and national scene in the North Basque at the end of 2016.

Several regional tournaments in various modalities were completed before the end of 2016. The easiest way to find them is a specialized lookup at pelotelive.free.fr.

Click on "Voir" to look at any of the competitions. Cut and paste the Organization name or abbreviation along with "pelota" and do a google search in order to link to the regional organizations that sponsor these tournaments. The Federation Francais de Pelote Basque (FFPB) also has a listing (unfortunately not live linked at present) of the major regional organizations.

For regional competitions with match videos another specialized search of PFF will retrive most of them. Click on "voir" and search for matches with the film icon.

With the beginning of the new year the FPPB National Championnat de France competitions begin in earnest. The easiest way to follow them is the Calendar at FPPB.

Check results at FFPB or at PFF.  As these tournaments come on line, there are likely to be match videos. Watch the media box for a film icon.

Following any of the amateur competitions in the North Basque Country may seem daunting, but a little creative use of PPF or FFPB results pages will go a long way toward enjoying the feast of North Basque amateur competition that takes place through the winter and spring months.

Main Nue: Tournois Biper Saria

Tournois Biper Saria, an EP 500 competition, was held at Trinquet de Saint-Pee (1)(2) and Trinquet D'Espellete (1)(2) on December 23 and 28.

Score source: Esku Pilota match articles and Resultats page

December 28,2016

Final:

Trinquet d'Espelette: Etchegaray-Bilbao (substituting for Guichandut) defeated Bielle-Amulet 40-35

Source for score

Note: Guichandut played and won v Bielle in a Championnat de France Main Nue Individual tournament match on December 30, 2016..

December 23, 2016

Semi-finals

Trinquet de Saint-Pee. The matches were moved from Trinquet Dospi to Trinquet de Saint-Pee due to a moisture problem at Dospi.

1. Etchegaray-Guichandut defeated X. Lambert-L.Lambert 40-35

Partial linescore (winners always listed 1st)

21-7; 27-30; 40-35

In a match dominated by huge runs (21-7, 6-23, 13-5), E-G produced the last one and rode it to victory.

2. Bielle-Amulet defeated Inchauspe-de Ezcurra 40-22

Partial linescore

10-7; 20-11; 30-15, 40-22

B-A broke the match wide open in second half to win easily.

Match article for both matches

Remonte: XII Torneo Individual de Remonte de Navidad 2016

The 12th Torneo Individual de Remonte de Navidad, sponsored by Fundacion Remonte Euskal Jai Berri was played at Olatz Txipia (Olaz) (1)(2) and Labrit (Iruna (Pamplona)) (1)(2) December 26 and 30, 2016.

Source for all articles; Euskal Jai Berri

December 30, 2016

Final:

Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona): Urriza defeated Uterga 30-22

Match preview

Match article

Match linescore (winner always listed 1st). Source: Navarra TV

1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 2-3; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 7-4; 8-4; 8-5; 8-6; 8-7; 8-8; 9-8; 10-8; 11-8; 12-8; 12-9; 13-9; 14-9; 15-9; 15-10; 16-10; 16-11; 17-11; 17-12; 17-13; 17-14; 17-15; 17-16; 17-17; 18-17; 19-17; 20-17; 21-17; 22-17; 23-17; 24-17; 25-17; 27-18; 28-18; 28-19; 28-20; 29-20; 29-21; 29-22; 30-22

Urriza led virtually from start to finish, and won this final going away. Every time Uterga challenged--2-3 (the only time he led), 8-8, and 17-17 after a 6-0 run, Urriza answered with major runs (6-1, 7-1, 11-1). I was able to watch a Narvarra TV feed of the match and Urriza showed how devastating he can be in the short court format. He controlled the tempo and when he was able to set up in front he launched his typical rockets, either pinning Uterga against the left wall, passing him there, or forcing him into difficult rebotes. The victory evened the score over the last two years in this tournament after Uterga won last year's final 30-15.

Match article for 2015 final, played at Labrit, January 18, 2016

December 26, 2016:

Semi-finals

Match article for both matches

Olatz Txipia (Olaz)

1. Urriza defeated Ion 30-21

Selected linescore (winner always listed 1st)

2-8; 3-10; 18-18; 30-21

15-8 and 12-3 runs by Urriza at the end of the match more than neutralized Ion's fast start.

2. Uterga defeated Etxeberria IV 30-20

Selected linescore (winner always listed 1st)

17-17; 20-18; 30-20

This was a very even match until Etxeberria IV suffered an ankle injury during the 20-18 point. Though he continued, he was limited by the injury and Uterga dominated the rest of the match.

==============================

In 2016 Uterga and Urriza faced each other in 7 Euskal Jai Berri tournament matches. Uterga won 4, Urriza 3. Uterga won 3 of the 5 championship finals they played.

Jan. 19, 2016--Navidad--Uterga 30, Urriza 15

Apr. 22, 2016--Casco Viejo--Uterga-Barrentxea IV 35, Urriza-Etxeberria III 32

Final point of the match (32 balls in play--the longest point I have seen in a Remonte match)

May 29, 2016--San Isidro--Urriza-Ion 35, Uterga-Etxeberria III 33

Jun. 11, 2016--Gipuzkoa Kopa--Uterga-Aizpuru III 35-Urriza-Zaldua 25

Full match video (match begins at 1 hour, 6 minutes, 30 seconds on the video) (EITB)

Dec. 30, 2016--Navidad--Urriza 30, Uterga 22

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mano--Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas--Week 4

Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas, the premier doubles competition of the 2016-2017 Mano season, began December 2, 2016. 8 teams compete for the title. The first (league) phase is a double round robin (14 matches). The top 4 finishers will then face off in a single round robin (3 matches). The two winners will play in a final on April 9, 2017.

Asegarce Competition Page

Asegarce League phase table

ASPE League phase table

Wikipedia Competition Page (Castilian)

Full ongoing league phase table (with total points and differential):

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com  21iguales.com will also keep an ongoing phase table at its main Parejas site and with every match article.

Match linescores will be provided from match articles when available. Full match linescores can be found at 21iguales.com Twitter feed.  Track back to the date and match and follow from beginning to end. The feed is also available at the Main site of 21iguales.com while the matches are in progress.

Source for all highlights and full match videos, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Week 1Week 2; Week 3;

Week 4:

Short video recap of all 4 matches (Elezkano-Zabaleta v Mendizabal III-Barriola highlights are here).

December 22, 2016

A. Uarkape, Arrasate (Mondragon) (1)(2)(3): Ezkurdia-Merino II defeated Urrutikoetxea-Imaz 22-15.

Match article with statistics and linescore (Deia)

An 8-1 start propelled E-M to their second consecutive victory. 8-1 was maintained all the way to 20-11 before U-I were able to close the gap and make the score more respectable. E-M 2-2 U-I 1-3

Match highlights (EITB)

Match Highlights (21iguales.com Youtube) Parts or all of 12 points.

December 23, 2016

B. Biaizpe, Irurtzun (1)(2): Elezkano II-Zabaleta defeated Mendizabal III (substituting for Altuna III)-Barriola 22-3. Altuna III, injured in the 1st match of the League phase, is expected to return on January 1, 2017 v Ezkurdia-Merino II.

Match article with statistics and linescore (Deia):

Feature article on Elezkano (Deia)

Feature article on Altuna III return from injury (Diario Vasco)

Led by Danel Elizkano's  +16 (more than doubling the output of the other three players combined) and a 19 point run at the finish, E-Z won their 2nd consecutive match, dominating M-B. E-Z 2-2 A-B 1-3. 

Match highlights (see video recap of all matches above).

Full Match video (Fronton.tv) Scroll to "Irurtzun-Biaizpe - 23/12/2016".

December 24, 2016

C. Beotibar, Tolosa (1)(2):  Victor (substituting for Artola)-Albisu defeated Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe 22-20

Selected linescore: (winner always listed 1st)

0-6; 7-7; 14-14; 15-15; 16-16; 17-17; 22-20

Match article

Match statistics (Asegarce)

With Victor substituting for Artola for the first of what could be 8-10 weeks, V-A got off to a slow start. But then they clicked into gear and evened the score with a 7-1 run. From there the two teams were evenly matched until the end, when V-A eked out the victory. They had to overcome 13 errors in order to do so. A-A 3-1 B-L 1-3

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 1 hour, 7 minutes, 7 seconds on the video).

December 25, 2016

D. Astelena, Eibar (1)(2):  Irribaria-Rezusta defeated Oliazola II-Untoria 22-7

Match article with statistics and linescore (Deia)

I-R took Oliazola II completely out of the match (+2 -5) and remained the only undefeated team in the competition with this easy victory. The match linescore shows no big runs, just a continual accumulation of the lead throughout the match. This match was a statement of intent for I-R, as O-U  are thought to be one of the favorites to win. I-R 4-0 O-U 2-2.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 1:05:23 of the video).

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 9--end of League Phase

La Liga Kutxabank competition began on October 29, 2016 at Bizkaia Fronton, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2). This tournament includes the entire InnPala roster, divided into 5 teams which will participate in a double round robin League competition, followed by a semi-final between the 2nd and 3rd place teams. The winner will face the League winner in a final on January 7th, 2017. Most of the matches will be at Bizkaia. There will also be matches at Sopela and Gallarta. For more on the tournament see the tournament page at InnPala.

Week 1--October 29, 2016

Week 2--November 5, 2016

Week 3--November 12, 2016

Week 4--November 19, 2016

Week 5--November 25-26, 2016

Week 6--December 2-3, 2016 

Week 7--December 10, 2016


Week 9 (Source for match and individual joko scores: Diario Vasco Cartelera (Dec. 24, 2016). This was the final week of the League phase. 

December 23, 2016

Chiquito de Gallarta (1)(2)(3)

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez defeated Necol-Ibargarai 3-1 (10-5, 10-8, 8-10 ,10-7). 

Fusto-Gordon defeated Landeta-Imanol 3-2 (10-7, 8-10, 10-5, 1-10, 10-9)

Match article (InnPala Facebook page). Auto-translate may be available at the site. (Added Dec. 26, 2016).

When Fusto-Gordon came out to play their match against Landeta-Imanol they knew that Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez had given them the smallest opening to a possible semi-final appearance by holding Necol-Ibargari to 1 joko (set). A win for F-G would give them 17 points, equal to N-I and Zubiri-Brefel, who had finished their schedule a week ago. And F-G were able to win their match, but just barely. They squandered 1-0 and 2-1 leads before coming back from a devastating 1-10 4th joko loss to win their match--the final point of the final joko (after trailing 7-9). That point propelled them into a semi-final match at Bizkaia December 30 v...Necol-Ibargari.

Final League Table:

Key: Team, Match record, Joko (set) record, League points

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.. 6-2....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 1-3, 3-1)...21
Necol-Ibargari:...........3-5....(3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1, 2-3, 1-3)....17
Fusto-Gordon.............5-3....(1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-2)....17
Zubiri-Brefel...............4-4....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3, 3-1)...17
Landeta-Imanol..........2-6....(1-3, 1-3, 2-3, 0-3, 0-3, 3-1, 3-2, 2-3)....12

Let's stop for a moment and examine this table. This is the order that the teams are listed on the InnPala home page (although, as of Dec. 26, InnPala has Z-B and L-I with only 7 matches instead of the 8 they have actually played). How is it possible that a team the won 3 matches of 8 finished above a team the won 5 of 8 (though for purposes of the semi-final, there is no advantage in coming 2nd rather than 3rd)? More importantly, how is it possible that a team that won 3 of 8 is in the semi-final and a team that won 4 of 8 is not? The key to this is the fact that the entire system is based on jokos  won. Matches won have nothing to do with anything (except as a reflection of jokos won). I wondered how ties would be broken in the League phase, as the rules of the tournament (see the InnPala Tournament link above) are mute on this point. The way this standing was determined, as far as I can tell (which may or may not be correct), based on number of jokos won, was determined by N-I, F-G, and Z-B jokos in matches against each other. Again, the only thing that matters is number of jokos won. One of the reasons I keep track of match wins-losses is that I think that statistic is important to the players, though it may mean next to nothing in determining positions on a League phase ladder. This tournament didn't really consist of 8 matches per team, but rather anywhere from 24 to 40 jokos, interrupted 8 times by a match happening to be won or lost. A team winning all 8 matches could score 24 points. Under this system, a team losing all 8 matches could score 16.

Necol-Ibargari v Zubiri-Brefel

N-I 3 Z-B 2 (November 26, 2016)
N-I 3 Z-B 1 (December 10, 2016)

Necol-Ibargari v Fusto-Gordon

F-G 3 N-I 2 (November 25, 2016)
F-G 3-N-I 2 (December 16, 2016)

Fusto-Gordon v Zubiri-Brefel

Z-B 3 F-G 0 (November 12, 2016)
F-G 3 Z-B 0 (December 3, 2016)

Total Jokos: N-I 10; F-G 9; Z-B 6

N-I, by losing their 5 matches more closely than Z-B lost their 4, were able to accumulate enough joko points to be part of the three way tie that gave them an advantage at the end. If one only looks at match results of the three teams against each other one sees: F-G 3-1, N-I 2-2, Z-B 1-3, which also knocks Z-B out of the semi-final.

As far as any prognostications go, I would look closely at Fusto-Gordon. Since their poor (0-2 (1-6 jokos) start, they have gone 5-1 (16-9 jokos)). They have played better than anyone over the last half of the League phase, and when the "money was on the line," i.e. their survival in the tournament was at stake in the last two matches, they won both. They beat N-I (their semi-final opponents) after being down 0-1 and 1-2. Then they beat Landeta-Imanol, the team that finished at the bottom of the table, but a team that had won their previous 2 matches (6-3 jokos), including an upset of the League winners Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez. Over the past 8 weeks, G-I were clearly the best team. But right now, F-G are the most in form.

===================================

Table of wins and losses for the 2016-2017 season.

Key: Player, Position (d=delantero (front court), z=zaguero (back court)) match wins-losses, joko (set) wins-losses, winning-losing streak, championships won. Matches that are single partidos will be noted. Table will be according to match winning percentage. 1st tie breaker will be number of wins. 2nd tie breaker will be joko win-loss differential.

December 23, 2016

Gaubeka(d)..6-2....21-15..+1*
Fusto(d).......5-3....17-15...+3
Zubiri(d)......5-4....20-14..+1*
Necol(d).......3-6...17-22....-2
Landeta(d)...2-6....12-21...-1

Ibai-Perez(z).6-2....21-15...+1*
Gordon(z).....5-4....17-18...+3
Brefel(z)........4-4....17-14...+1
Ibargari(z).....4-5.....20-19...-2
Imanol(z).......2-6....12-21...-1*

*Does not include the result of Nov. 25, 2016 independent match Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez v Zubiri-Imanol. The result is unknown at this time. I will add it when I find it.

Includes Nov. 19, 2016 independent match: Zuberi-Ibargari defeated Necol-Gordon 3-0 (10-8, 10-3, 10-9) at Bizkaia.

For cumulative accounting of this player table see the InnPala Player win-loss table under the Pala page on the right side of the blog. 

Mano--Tourneo Bankoa Credit Agricole-DV--finals.

The finals of the 25th Tourneo Bankoa Credit Agricole-DV (Diario Vasco) Tournament were played on December 23, 2016. The tournament began with 64 amateur players on September 17. It was played at multiple venues in the South Basque Country.  It consisted of a "promesas" and senior tournament. It is one of the most prestigious of amateur tournaments, and many of its players have gone on to become professional players.

The tournament was covered extensively in Diario Vasco

Background on the tournament

Tournament coverage

December 23, 2016

Beloki, Zumarraga (1)(2)(3)

Promesas Final:

Garcia-Eskiroz defeated Etxeberria-Aranguren 22-15

Match article (Diario Vasco)

Senior Final:

E. Labaka-Martinez defeated P. Labaka-Arratibel 22-4.

Match article (Dairio Vasco)

Full match video for both promesas and senior final matches (Source: EITB) Senior final begins at 1 hour 5 minutes 58 seconds on the video.

60 photos (Diario Vasco)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Multiple Modalities--Highlights of the Master International Pelote 2016 - 2nd edition amateur competition.

Master International Pelote was a set of 3 amateur competitions--organized by the Pelote Club du Chaudron, with several sponsors, including the Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB) and InnPala--held in La Reunion (an overseas Department of France located on an island in the Indian Ocean) November 12-19, 2016.

In mid-December DMB production released a 29 minute 23 second video highlighting the week's competitions and youth outreach.

MIP 2016 Édition 2 (Dominique Meyer-Bisch - DMB Production)

Competitions were held in Main Nue, Pala Corta, and Paleta Cuir (all on mur a gauche courts). The Paleta Cuir competition was fully covered by pelotelive.free.fr. The Pala Corta competition was partially covered by PFF. The pala/paleta competitions were also covered by the MIP Facebook page.  Both sources have links to several match videos. Look for thought bubble or film icons at PFF. Make sure to "disactiver" PFF's auto-refresh or the video will stop. A complete listing of MIP Facebook match videos can be found here.

One of the highlights of the competition was the upset of InnPala professionals Fusto-Brefel by the local La Reunion team of Mahabo-Mangaman in a Paleta Cuir semi-final.

Mahabo-Mangaman defeated Fusto-Brefel 2-0 (15-12, 15-11).

Selected match video Make sure to "disactiver" PFF's auto-refresh or the video will stop.

Also available at MIP Facebook page

November 19, 2016

Paleta Cuir Final:

Clain (substituting for Mahabo)-Magaman defeated Sainz-Skufka 2-1 (6-15, 15-10, 10-7).

Match video (match video is at the bottom of the page)

November 19, 2016

Pala Corta Final:

Zozaya-Muruzabal defeated de Elizondo-Belestin 2-1 (15-10, 12-15, 10-4)

Full match video and complete linescores are available at the pelotelive.free.fr match page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for videos. Part 1 is at the bottom of the page. Part 2 is directly above Part 1.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mano--Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas--Week 3

Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas, the premier doubles competition of the 2016-2017 Mano season, began December 2, 2016. 8 teams compete for the title. The first (league) phase is a double round robin (14 matches). The top 4 finishers will then face off in a single round robin (3 matches). The two winners will play in a final on April 9, 2017.

Asegarce Competition Page

Asegarce League phase table

ASPE League phase table

Wikipedia Competition Page (Castilian)

Full ongoing league phase table (with total points and differential):

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com  21iguales.com will also keep an ongoing phase table at its main Parejas site and with every match article.

Match linescores will be provided from match articles when available. Full match linescores can be found at 21iguales.com Twitter feed.  Track back to the date and match and follow from beginning to end. The feed is also available at the Main site of 21iguales.com while the matches are in progress.

Source for all highlights and full match videos, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Week 1; Week 2;

Week 3:

December 13, 2016

A. Ederrena, Urretxu (1)(2)(3): Elezkano II-Zabaleta defeated Artola-Albisu 22-11.

Match article with video of Artola's injury (EITB via Asegarce)

Article about Artola's injury and Victor substituting (Deia)

At 9-11, Artola crashed into the left wall, dislocating his shoulder. The match was cancelled at that point and E-Z were awarded a 22-11 win. Artola is expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks. He will be replaced by Victor.  E-Z 1-2 A-A 2-1

December 16, 2016

B. Zubikoa, Onati (1)(2): Irribaria-Rezusta defeated Mendizabal III (substituting for Altuna III)-Tolosa (substituting for Barriola) 22-17

Match article, statistics, linescore (Deia):

Talent is the most important variable, according to the match article. And so it was on a day that neither Irribarria nor Rezusta were at their best,  they were still able to defeat M-T and become the only undefeated team in the competition. I-R established a 7-2 lead but couldn't hold it. They moved ahead again from 10-10 to take control. But they wobbled at 21-14 before they finally finished things. An odd and interesting aside. Neither of the back court men scored a single point. I-R 3-0 A-B 1-2.

Match highlights 

Full match video (Fronton.tv) Scroll to "Onati-Zubikoa" 16/12/2016.

December 17, 2016

C. Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona) (1)(2): Ezkurdia-Merino II defeated Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe  22-18

Match article, statistics, linescore (Deia)

9 Larunbe errors were the difference in a highly competitive match that was decided when E-M broke the last of 6 ties by scoring the last 4 points of the match. A 7-0 run by B-L (3-10--10-10) made an exciting match out of what looked to be a rout. E-M 1-2 B-L 1-2.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 56 minutes on the recording)

December 18, 2016

D. Bizkaia, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2): Urrutikoetxea-Imaz defeated Oliazola II-Untoria 22-18

Match article, statistics and linescore

What a difference a change in partners made. U-Berioz, who floundered out of the gate in this competition (0-2), became a completely different team when Imaz replaced Berioz. In the longest and most exciting match of the week, they handed O-U their first defeat. It wasn't easy, as the 1 hour and 20 minute, 773 balls in play struggle clearly indicate. It didn't look that way early, as O-U built a 6-0, 12-2, and 15-9 lead. At that point U-I went on a 8-0 run. O-U then tied the score before U-I finished the match with a 5-1 run. Imaz was spotlighted for steady, excellent play in the back court that allowed Urrutikoetxea to flourish. 11 O-U errors did not help their cause. U-I 1-2 O-U 2-1

Match highlights

Full match video: (match begins at 1 hour, 11 minutes, 48 seconds on the video)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Main Nue--Trinquet Garat Super Prestige singles tournament--Tour 4

The 23rd Super Prestige is a singles tournament, an EP 2000 competition played at the cathedral of Main Nue, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port's (Donibane Garazi) "Le Garat"(1)(2).

It will be played on Mondays from November 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017. This is a seeded singles tournament,  with 2 matches each Monday. The tournament will be played in knockout fashion with 4 "tours", followed by two semi-finals and a final (played on a Sunday). Seeding in one bracket (from low to high) is: Guichandut, X. Lambert, Bilbao, and Larralde. And in the other bracket: Ospital, de Ezcurra, Waltary, and Ducassou. The seeding can be seen graphically here.

2015 SP results

The tournament is organized by Garaziko Pilota (Societe Sportive Goizeko Izarra)

Tournament Competition page

The ongoing results of the tournament will be available on a "ladder" chart. Statistics and commentary for only the most recent Monday matches should be available, but it is unknown whether they will be available for every match. Esku Pilota sometimes puts these statistics into a spreadsheet. If they do, they will be linked to. If not, because of the importance of this tournament, I will copy them.

Tour 1 (November 28, 2016)

Tour 2  (December 5, 2016)

Tour 3 (December 12, 2016)

Tour 4 preview article (Pilota Ttiki)

Source for match statistics for both matches: H. Ocafrain (via spreadsheets provided by Esku Pilota)

December 19, 2016

1. Gonzalez  defeated Bilbao 40-37.

2. Ospital defeated Waltary 40-34

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

Match article for both matches, including complete statistics (Excel format), an audio interview with Mathieu Ospital, and full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota).

Full match videos for both matches (Esku Pilota Youtube site--see below)

1. In a match that had 8 lead changes, Gonzalez had the final rally, coming back from 30-33 down with a decisive 7 point run to win. If you look at the match statistics you will see that not only did Bilbao keep Gonzalez' serve under control, he actually out aced Gonzalez. Bilbao was in the lead for most of the early part of the match, leading by as many as 10 points (13-3). But Gonzalez fought back to near equality and the match see-sawed from there. Last week I noted that because of Gonzalez' high service ace numbers in his first 3 matches, he must have a tremendously powerful serve. Actually watching this match was a cautionary tale about making assumptions based only on numbers. What Gonzalez has is two serves, a low and fast (but not overpowering) one and a high and deep one. And he can put either one of these serves exactly where he wants to, from left to center to right. Even when he doesn't serve aces, he seems to be able to keep his opponent (and Bilbao is a great defensive back courter) off balance. The match ended on a controversial note when, at 37-39, Bilbao thought he had won a point with a shot into the mesh work of the side dugout. The judge disagreed. Bibao refused to shake his hand, and was greeted with a chorus of boos. Watch the point below and judge for yourself. Gonzalez' 5th and penultimate (he hopes) step up the ladder will come next Monday v Peio Larralde.

Gonzalez v Bilbao

Gonzalez' final rally (30-33--37-33)

Final point

2. During Mathieu Ospital's great 21-2 run to end the match, it appeared that he was actually breathing fire. It was, alas, an illusion. It was so cold at the Garat late in this second match that you could clearly see his breath. But he might as well have been breathing fire, the way he completely dominated the last half of the match to win and move on to next Monday's semi-final against Baptiste Ducassou. Waltary was up by as many as 13 points early in the match (16-3), dominating Ospital with service ace after ace (Waltary really does have a tremendously powerful serve) and using the three walls in front like a pinball machine to move toward what looked like an easy victory. Ospital tried to fight back but never got the deficit below 6 points going into the 6th decade. Then, at 19-32, Waltary made a seemingly innocuous service fault. Ospital took the small opening and completely turned the match around. He used his great shot selection and some very timely excellent serves to do the job. In the audio interview after the match Ospital said it best: "Je ne m’attendais pas à gagner aujourd’hui, je suis très content!"

Ospital v Waltary

Waltary's fateful service fault

20-32--40-34

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Xistera Kluba Amateur "Final of Finals"

Note that all print articles on the Xistera Kluba website are completely bilingual. I have used Castilian links. Click on the top right side of the page to switch to Basque.

Euskal Herriko Xistera Kluben Kirol Kluba (Basque Country Xistera Sports Club) together with EEUP (Euskadiko Euskal Pilota Federakuntza) has recently started an amateur Jai Alai tournament circuit. The Club has three aims: to reintroduce the game to children, to strengthen the game at the club level, and to create a competition circuit to help encourage new and young fans to follow the game. The full mission statement is here.

The final Xistera Kluba tournament ("final of finals") of the year was played on December 17, 2016, at Markina-Xemein. (1)(2). Three matches were played, including a girls quiniela match that featured 6 teams.

Match articles for all three matches (Source: Xistera Kluba)

Full match video for all three matches (Source: Xistera Kluba Youtube page)

Use the match article (reading from the end of the article to the beginning) below to identify players and locate the beginning of each match.

See Xistera Kluba Calendario for details on future tournaments.

See the Xistera Kluba home page above or USstream page for details on notification of live streaming. Live and on demand streaming is available for finals only at this time.

Previous Xistera Kluba full match videos (this link will lead to the latest (Tolosa) final which will link back to the other finals. (Source: Xistera Kluba Youtube and EITB).

XK promotional video

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Cesta de Nadau

The 7th Cesta de Nadau was played at Pau (1)(2) December 9 and 16, 2016

Match previews and articles for all matches:

Source: Section Paloise Pelota Basque (Raymond Cazadebat)

December 16, 2016

Final:

Olharan-Portet defeated Hormaetxea-Enbil 2-1 (12-15, 15-13, 5-3)

2016 Full Match video (Canal+ via Audiense Audiovisuel Youtube site) (Added Dec. 23, 2016).

2015 Final Full Match Video  (Canal+ via Audiense Audiovisuel Youtube site) (Olharan-Itoiz defeated Egiguren-L. Alliez 2-0 (15-11, 15-14, December 18, 2015) (Added Dec. 23, 2016).

Dec. 9, 2016

Semi-finals:

Hormaetxea-Enbil defeated Goikoetxea-Erkiaga 2-1 (10-15, 15-14, 5-3)

Olharan-Portet defeated Egiguren-Alliez 2-0 (15-13, 15-12)

Condensed match videos (many but not all points) for all three matches, as well as a unique introduction of the players in the final (Source: Tout sur la Pelote Basque Youtube page--Olivier Simon)

See videos labeled "Cesta de Nadau 2016". Note that these videos are not commercial TV quality videos, but give a good impressionistic flavor of the matches. Note especially the video for the final, which was filmed from the front rather than the back and/or side. Watch the ball closely and you'll see with great clarity just how fast it moves in this sport.

Main Nue--Le Trophee Esku Pilota

Le Trophee Esku Pilota, a tournament dedicated to the memory of Jean-Marie Mailharro was played on November 25, December 9, and December 16, 2016.

* not listed in Esku Pilota player pages at present

December 16, 2016

Final

Trinquete Moderne, Bayonne (Baiona) (1)(2): Aguirre-Amulet defeated Elgart-Lucu* 40-26

Selected line score (winners always listed first)

4-10; 10-20; 23-23; 30-24; 40-26

Match article with link to full match video

A hand injury suffered by Lucu, along with vastly improved play by Amulet in the second half of the match, turned this final around. A-A, down by 10 points half-way through the match, outscored E-L 30-6 from that point to win easily.

Full match video (Esku Pilota Youtube site)

Semi-final score source: Esku Pilota results). Scroll to dates and match names.

November 25, 2016

First semi-final:

Beguios (1)(2): Elgart-Lucu* defeated Inchauspe-Benesse* 40-29

December 9, 2016
Second semi-final

Trinquet Xilar, Souraide (1)(2): Aguirre-Amulet defeated Olcomendy*-Lazcano 40-34

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 8

La Liga Kutxabank competition began on October 29, 2016 at Bizkaia Fronton, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2). This tournament includes the entire InnPala roster, divided into 5 teams which will participate in a double round robin League competition, followed by a semi-final between the 2nd and 3rd place teams. The winner will face the League winner in a final on January 7th, 2017. Most of the matches will be at Bizkaia. There will also be matches at Sopela and Gallarta. For more on the tournament see the tournament page at InnPala.

Week 1--October 29, 2016

Week 2--November 5, 2016

Week 3--November 12, 2016

Week 4--November 19, 2016

Week 5--November 25-26, 2016

Week 6--December 2-3, 2016 

Week 7--December 10, 2016

Week 8 (Source for match and individual joko scores: Diario Vasco Cartelera (Dec. 17, 2016)

December 16, 2016

Zubiri-Brefel defeated Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez 3-1 (10-5, 10-6, 5-10, 10-6)

Fusto-Gordon defeated Necol-Ibargari 3-2 (8-10, 10-9, 9-10, 10-7, 10-3).

Article that details the playoff possibilities going into the final round of league play on December 23, 2016. (Source: InnPala Fronton Facebook page). The matchups will be Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez v Necol-Ibargari and Fusto-Gordon v Landeta-Imanol. In week 3 (Nov. 12--see the link above, full match video is available for the match) G-I defeated N-I 3-2 (10-4, 10-9, 4-10, 6-10, 10-3). In week 5 (Nov. 26--full match video is available for the match) F-G defeated L-I 3-0 (10-4, 10-9, 10-7).

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez' slump continued as the league phase neared its conclusion. They lost their second match in succession. They have lost 6 of their last 9 jokos (sets). Zubiri-Brefel, who finished their league phase,  desperately needed to win for a decent chance at a semi-final appearance. They took control of the match early, dominating the first two jokos, and cruised home. Fusto-Gordon, who have vastly improved their performance after an 0-2 (1-6 jokos) start, showed that they are going to be a handful for any opponent after coming back from 0-1 and 1-2 deficits to defeat Necol-Ibargari in a match that was crucial to both. By winning, F-G kept their hopes of a semi-final alive. They will need to take care of business against Landeta-Imanol (no easy task, given the quality of L-I's recent play) and get a bit of help from G-I (preferably a sweep v N-I). It should make for an entertaining evening at Gallarta on Friday night.

League Table:

Key: Team, Match record, Joko (set) record, League points

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.. 5-2....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 1-3)..........18
Zubiri-Brefel...............4-4....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3, 3-1)...17
Necol-Ibargari:...........3-4....(3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1, 2-3)...........16
Fusto-Gordon.............4-3....(1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2)...........14
Landeta-Imanol..........2-5....(1-3, 1-3, 2-3, 0-3, 0-3, 3-1, 3-2)...........10

====================

Table of wins and losses for the 2016-2017 season.

Key: Player, Position (d=delantero (front court), z=zaguero (back court)) match wins-losses, joko (set) wins-losses, winning-losing streak, championships won. Matches that are single partidos will be noted. Table will be according to match winning percentage. 1st tie breaker will be number of wins. 2nd tie breaker will be joko win-loss differential.

December 16, 2016

Gaubeka(d)..5-2....18-14..-2*
Zubiri(d)..... 5-4....20-14..+1*
Fusto(d).......4-3....14-13...+2
Necol(d).......3-5....16-19....-1
Landeta(d)...2-5....10-18..+2

Ibai-Perez(z).5-2....18-14...-2*
Ibargari(z)....4-4.....19-16..-1
Brefel(z)........4-4....17-14...+1
Gordon(z).....4-4....14-16..+2
Imanol(z).......2-5...10-18..+2*

*Does not include the result of Nov.25, 2016 independent match Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez v Zubiri-Imanol. The result is unknown at this time. I will add it when I find it.

Includes Nov. 19, 2016 independent match: Zuberi-Ibargari defeated Necol-Gordon 3-0 (10-8, 10-3, 10-9) at Bizkaia.

For cumulative accounting of this player table see the InnPala Player win-loss table under the Pala page on the right side of the blog. 

Mano--XXVI Bizkaiko Kluben Arteko Txapelketa 2016 finals

Sponsored by Bizkaiko Eusko Pilota Federakuntza (BEPF) and El Corte Ingles (Madrid based Spanish Department Store Chain), two club finals (Junior and Senior) of  the XXVI Bizkaiko Kluben Arteko Txapelketa Mano tournament were played December 17, 2016.

Kurtzea Fronton (Galdakano) (1)(2)

1. Adiskide (Galdakao) (Karnegal-Artola) (Blue) defeated Izarra (Portugalete) (Lizundia-Garcia) (Red) 22-9

2. Usansolo (Usansolo) (Betia-Zabala) (Red)  defeated  Hori-Hori (Elorria) (Aspiri-Kastillo) (Blue) 22-16

More information about the tournament

Full match video for both matches

Senior match begins at 43 minutes, 57 seconds on the video.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Remonte: 46th Campeonato Oficial de remonte Parejas-Fundación Orona--Final

The, Campeonato Oficial de remonte Parejas-Fundación Orona, the premier Remonte doubles tournament, began on November 3, 2016 and ended with a final on December 17, 2016. Five teams participated.

Uterga-Endika
Urriza-Zubiri
Ezkurra II-Ion
Ezkurra-Etxeberria III
Segurola-Barrenetxia IV

The tournament consisted of a single round robin "league"phase". The top four finishers played a two match total points semi-final (1 v 4 and 2 v 3). The league phase ended in the order listed above. The entire tournament summary, match by match, can be found in the "Remonte: Galarreta "STAR" matches" recurring page on the right side of the blog (as all the matches, with the exception of one semi-final, were "Star" matches). For convenience, the summary will also be available from the "MY ARTICLE" link below.

December 17, 2016 (Final)

Galarreta Fronton, Hernani (1)(2): Uterga-Endika defeated Ezkurra II-Ion 40-30 

Full match video (EITB)

Full match video (EITB via Oriamendi2010) (added Dec. 22, 2016).

Preview article (Oriamendi 2010) This article contains a list of winners of this tournament from 1972-2015 and also 1964, 1957, and 1943.

Preview articles (Diario Vasco)

1st preview article
2nd preview article 

Match article (Oriamendi2010)

Diario Vasco

Match Statistics, scoring, and linescore (Diaro Vasco)

"Time of the match: 62 minutes and 14 seconds. Actual playingtime: 19:25

Balls in play: 394.

Service Aces: Endika, 3. Ion, 3.
Service Faults: Endika, 0. Ion, 0.

Winners in play: Uterga, 21. Endika, 8. Ezkurra II, 19. Ion, 4.
Errors in play: Uterga, 2. Endika, 2. Ezkurra II, 5. Ion, 3."

Scoring (EITB)

Uterga +19 -2, Endika +10 -4; Ezkurra II +18 -8 Ion +6 -3

Balls in play: 394: Uterga 99 Endika 103; Ezkurra II 90 Ion 102

Condensed linescore (winners always listed first--Diario Vasco): 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 5-2, 5-3, 9-3, 9-4, 10-4, 10-11, 12-11, 12-13, 15-13, 15-15, 16-15, 16-17, 18-17, 18-19, 23-19, 23-21, 24-21, 24-22, 27-22, 27-24, 32-24, 32-25, 33-25, 33-27, 35-27, 35-28, 39-28, 39-30, 40-30.

It is difficult to imagine a match played this well (53 or 58 winners, 12 or 17 errors in total, depending on who was scoring) could end up this one sided. The answer is that U-E built small advantages into a big victory. Uterga was +1 (EITB) or +2(DV) winners and -3(DV) or -6(EITB) errors v Ezkurra II. Endika was +4 (both sources) winners and -1(DV) or +1(EITB) errors v Ion. It added up to a decisive win for the champions, but a quick look at the linescore shows that this match was very close during its first half. It wasn't until a 9-3 run from 24-22 that U-E were able to break it open (46:02-54:55 on the video). U-E finished the tournament with 5 wins and 2 losses. E-E finished 4-3.

Endika, Urriza, and Ion won individual awards. Selected awards were presented by José Joaquín Erkizia, a Remonte fan who has attended matches at Galarreta regularly since it opened in June of 1970. Mr. Erkizia is 94.

MY ARTICLE: Orona Tournament: from beginning to end. Note that this article also links to 3 other tournament full match videos.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Dania Beach Final Fall 2016 Season Standings and link to full recap of Team Competition

The Dania Beach (1: Fronton after renovation)  (2: Fronton before renovation) Fall 2016 season began on September 15, 2016 and ended on December 15, 2016.

Entries; Results; Game Pages; Statistics 

Note that complete up to date roster statistics are only available for the latest performance at this time.

Roster Information

Full Season Statistics for the Dania 2016 Fall Season

Source: Dania Jai Alai. See page two of this document for the full season statistics.

There was no triple crown competition (wins, special singles, special doubles) because of the Dania Team Jai Alai competition. For the season, Erik won the most games with 128. Leke was 2nd with 83. Diego was 3rd with 77. Erik led in winning percentage with .281, the only player on the roster over .200. Leke was 2nd with .175, Israel 3rd with .174. Erik lead in the money (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place game finish--quinela Jai Alai is a form that is analogous to a horse race--8 teams or individuals participate in each game) percentage with .602. Leke was 2nd with .488. Diego was 3rd with .450.

The fronton will now "go dark" until the beginning of January, when the Spring 2017 season begins.

For current information about the progress of the Dania season, including a weekly breakdown of playing statistics, leading weekly winners, see the Jai Alai: Dania Jai Alai weekly leaders page on the right side of the blog.

MY ARTICLE: Dania Standings--sorted by wins and by wins by position

MY ARTICLE: A complete recap of the 2016 Dania Team Jai Alai competition.

Note that I have moved the recap from the above linked Dania weekly leaders page to its own page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Main Nue--Trinquet Garat Super Prestige singles tournament--Tour 3

The 23rd Super Prestige is a singles tournament, an EP 2000 competition played at the cathedral of Main Nue, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port's (Donibane Garazi) "Le Garat"(1)(2).

It will be played on Mondays from November 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017. This is a seeded singles tournament,  with 2 matches each Monday. The tournament will be played in knockout fashion with 4 "tours", followed by two semi-finals and a final (played on a Sunday). Seeding in one bracket (from low to high) is: Guichandut, X. Lambert, Bilbao, and Larralde. And in the other bracket: Ospital, de Ezcurra, Waltary, and Ducassou. The seeding can be seen graphically here.

2015 SP results

The tournament is organized by Garaziko Pilota (Societe Sportive Goizeko Izarra)

Tournament Competition page

The ongoing results of the tournament will be available on a "ladder" chart. Statistics and commentary for only the most recent Monday matches should be available, but it is unknown whether they will be available for every match. Esku Pilota sometimes puts these statistics into a spreadsheet. If they do, they will be linked to. If not, because of the importance of this tournament, I will copy them.

Tour 1 (November 28, 2016)

Tour 2  (December 5, 2016)

Tour 3

Tour 3 preview article (Pilota Ttiki)

Source for match statistics for both matches: H. Ocafrain

December 12, 2016

1. Gonzalez  defeated X. Lambert 40-20.

Equalities: 5-5: 14-14

Selected decade linescore:
 13-7; 16-14; 25-15; 33-17

Time of the match: 45 minutes, actual playing time 15 minutes.

Scoring:

Gonzalez +35 (21 service aces, 2 egindatukoak, 2 xareat, 5 pumpa xare, 3 dejadas, 2 buruzgain) -8 (1 service fault) 
Lambert +12 (6 service aces, 1 egindatukoak, 3 xareat, 2 pumpa xare) -5

2. Ospital defeated de Ezcurra 40-24

Equalities: 0-0

Decade linescore:
6-4; 12-8; 20-10; 26-14; 33-17; 37-23

Scoring:

Ospital +30 (4 service aces, 6 egindatukoak, 3 xareat, 6 pumpa xare, 1 zilot, 3 dejadas, 3 buruzgain, 3 motz, 1 izkin motz), -8.
de Ezkurra +16 (6 service aces, 2 egindatukoak, 2 xareat, 3 pumpa xare,1 buruzgain, 1 motz, 1 izkun motz) -10

Time of  the match: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 30 seconds, actual playing time: 27 minutes, 28 seconds. 

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

1. Mikel Gonzalez continued his relentless climb up the ladder by dominating Ximun Lambert. He did it the way he has won his other two matches. Main Nue has been called the artists modality, but Gonzalez deals in raw power. In his three victories he has scored 20, 16, and 21 points on service aces, an average of 19 points per match. While I haven't actually seen his matches, this statistic must mean he has enormous power. This is somewhat analogous to a power baseball pitcher's strikeout totals. But in Main Nue, the service ace is a very efficient way to get a point (very different from baseball). For each ace, he not only scores a point and demoralizes his opponent, but also saves wear and tear on his hands. Such power is reminiscent of Irribarria's performance in last Spring's Mano singles tournament (though his technique stressed high and deep shots in the volley). The question is how much further can Gonzalez blast his way through this tournament? Bixintxo Bilbao and Peio Larralde loom ahead. They are Nos. 4 and 2 on the Esku Pilota ladder, which explains their seeding in this tournament. They are very experienced in big matches and come into this tournament rested. The proceedings  are about to about to get very interesting in this bracket.

2. Matthieu Ospital's  victory over Pascal de Ezcurra was achieved quite differently than Gonzalez'. He had only 4 service aces, but scored on every type of shot listed in the score sheet. This implies finesse over raw power, stressing Ospital's ability to move the ball around and place it. He showed this ability in many of his matches this summer. One example was his terrific shot making in the final of the Trophee Puyodebat in August. In that match, I pointed to 11 terrific points he scored through his shot making prowess. He never trailed against de Ezcurra, and increased his lead throughout. His next opponent, Agusti Waltary, is an experienced player, comfortable in the spotlight of the big match, who has a great power serve. The contrast in styles should make for a very interesting and entertaining match.

Mano--Two EEPF Amateur Competitions

Euskadiko Euskal Pilota Federakuntza (EEPF) recently sponsored two amateur Mano tournaments. One appears to be in the middle of its competition. The other concluded on December 2, 2016. Matches for both were played at the same fronton on the same day.

1. XXI Torneo Herriaren

Competition page to this point (Microsoft Word format) (EEPF)

December 2, 2016

Areta Fronton, Laudio (1)(2)

Otxandorena-Bergera defeated Yoldi-Peñas 22-12

Full match video (EITB)

2. 4 1/2 Euskadiko Elitea Eskuz Banaka Nagusiak-KOPA/Elite Euskadi Cuatro y Medio Mano Individual Senior-Copa. This tournament was played from October 28-December 2, 2016. It was an 8 player tournament, consisting of 4 quarter-finals, 2 semi-finals, and a final.

Competition context:

Results of every match (Click on the "fase" arrow for results of quarter and semi-finals "calendario de resultados".)

Individual match articles (EEPF): Track back to October 28 for preview and result articles for matches.

December 2, 2016

Final

Salaberria defeated Arabiourrutia 22-19

Preview article (EEPF)

Match article, with selected statistics and linescore (EEPF)

Match article (Desmarque)

Full match video (match begins at 1 hour, 4 minutes, 56 seconds on the video)

Note: Salaberria is the same Salaberria who played in last summer's prestigious Antiguoako Txapelketa Amateur final in Donostia (San Sebastian), covered in the blog

Mano--Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas--Week 2

Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas, the premier doubles competition of the 2016-2017 Mano season, began December 2, 2016. 8 teams compete for the title. The first (league) phase is a double round robin (14 matches). The top 4 finishers will then face off in a single round robin (3 matches). The two winners will play in a final on April 9, 2017.

Asegarce Competition Page

Asegarce League phase table

ASPE League phase table

Wikipedia Competition Page (Castilian)

Full ongoing league phase table (with total points and differential):

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com  21iguales.com will also keep an ongoing phase table at its main Parejas site and with every match article.

Match linescores will be provided from match articles when available. Full match linescores can be found at 21iguales.com Twitter feed.  Track back to the date and match and follow from beginning to end. The feed is also available at the Main site of 21iguales.com while the matches are in progress.

Source for all highlights and full match videos, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Week 1

Week 2:

December 8, 2016

A. Zierbena (1)(2): Oliazola II-Untoria defeated Elezkano II-Zabaleta 22-19.

Match article

Match article with statistics and linescore (Deia)

O-U controlled the match early (5-0, 10-5). They led at each decade marker (6-4, 11-9, 17-13, 21-19). At 16-11, they seemed well on their way to victory. But E-Z fought back to lead 19-18 before O-U scored the final 4 points, the last an an Oliazola II cross court kill shot to win. O-U 2-0 E-Z 0-2.

Match highlights (EITB)

December 9, 2016

B. Atano III, Donostia (San Sebastian) (1)(2): Artola-Albisu defeated Mendizabal III (substituting for Altuna III)-Tolosa (substituting for Barriola)  22-11

Match article

Match article, statistics, linescore (Deia)

A 15-5 run from 2-2 led to an easy victory for A-A over the two substitutes. Artola scored 12 of his team's 22 points. Albisu played solid defense in support of his partner. A-A 2-0. A-B 1-1.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 58 minutes, 55 seconds on the recording)

December 10, 2016.

C. Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona) (1)(2) Irribarria-Rezusta defeated Ezkurdia-Merino II 22-10

Match article

Match article, statistics and linescore (Deia)

E-M scored the first point of the match. They never saw the lead again. A 10-2 run after the first point put the match out of reach. Irribarria dominated with 14 winners. No one else had more than 4. I-R 2-0. E-M 0-2.

Match highlights

Full match video: (match begins at 55:13 on the video)

December 11, 2016

4. Santi Brouard, Lekeitio (1)(2) Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe defeated Urrutikoetxea-Beroiz 22-13

Match article

Match article, statistics, linescore (Deia)

After this match, Mikel Berioz was dropped from the competition for sub-par play. Asegarce, for the next two matches at any rate, has replaced him with Ander Imaz. B-L controlled the match throughout. The closest U-B came was 9-8. After that, B-L dominated the rest of the match 13-5. B-L 1-1. U-B 0-2.

Article on the replacement of Berioz (Deia)

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 51:01 on the video)

======================================

Late Update: In the opening 3rd round match between Elezkano II-Zabaleta and Artola-Albisu, Artola, who entered this competition coming off an elbow injury, and who had looked quite impressive in his team's first two victories, suffered a dislocated shoulder and will be out indefinitely. More on the match in the week 3 update next week. The rest of the match was postponed after the injury. E-Z were awarded the victory.

Artola injury article with link to video of the injury (Asegarce). Click on "video-noticia."

With the injury to Artola, 3 players are now out injured and 1 other has been replaced for sub-par play.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 7

La Liga Kutxabank competition began on October 29, 2016 at Bizkaia Fronton, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2). This tournament includes the entire InnPala roster, divided into 5 teams which will participate in a double round robin League competition, followed by a semi-final between the 2nd and 3rd place teams. The winner will face the League winner in a final on January 7th, 2017. Most of the matches will be at Bizkaia. There will also be matches at Sopela and Gallarta. For more on the tournament see the tournament page at InnPala.

Week 1--October 29, 2016

Week 2--November 5, 2016

Week 3--November 12, 2016

Week 4--November 19, 2016

Week 5--November 25-26, 2016

Week 6--December 2-3, 2016 

Week 7 (Source for match and individual joko scores: InnPala Twitter feed and EITB)

December 10, 2016

Necol-Ibargari defeated Zubiri-Brefel 3-1 (10-1, 10-7, 8-10, 10-3)

Scoring (Source for all scoring: EITB)
Necol +8 -3 Ibargari +13 -9; Zubiri +4 -6 Brefel +5 -11
426 balls in play; Time of the match:  48 minutes, 49 seconds

Landeta-Imanol defeated Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez 3-2 (10-9, 10-7, 3-10, 4-10, 10-9)

Scoring
Landeta +16 -12 Imanol +9 -12; Gaubeka +9 -8 Ibai-Perez +12 -4
617 balls in play; Time of the match:  68:49

 Full match video for both matches (EITB)

The big story this week was, for the second week in a row, the play of Landeta-Imanol. This week they upset the league leaders, Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez, 3-2. They won 3 very close games and lost 2 lopsided ones. Though they won, they were outscored 45-37. Landeta was the star, scoring over 40% of his team's points. The 2 matches we have reliable scoring statistics for L-I were the opening match of the tournament, October 29 (see week 1 above for full match video), where Landeta was +2 -12, and November 26 (see week 5 above for full match video), where he was +7 -9. In that match Imanol dominated the strike, 113-75. In this match Landeta took the majority of it 154-151. L-I were battered and bruised going into the 5th joko (set), after being outscored 20-7 during G-I's comeback. L-I were ahead late in the 5th joko  (9-7 as a result of two beautiful deep Landeta winners that beat Ibai-Perez) before G-I evened the score. Serving for the joko and the match, Ibai-Perez, who had the best scoring differential for both matches, faulted. Unfortunately for L-I, their 2 consecutive wins (after opening with 5 consecutive losses) came too late to put them into playoff contention. Zubiri-Brefel were thrashed by Necol-Ibargari, but the 1 joko that they managed to win eliminated L-I.

League Table:

Key: Team, Match record, Joko (set) record, League points

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.. 5-1....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3)..........17
Necol-Ibargari:...........3-3....(3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1)...........14
Zubiri-Brefel...............3-4....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3)...14
Fusto-Gordon.............3-3....(1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-0)...........11
Landeta-Imanol..........2-5....(1-3, 1-3, 2-3, 0-3, 0-3, 3-1, 3-2)....10

====================

Table of wins and losses for the 2016-2017 season.

Key: Player, Position (d=delantero (front court), z=zaguero (back court)) match wins-losses, joko (set) wins-losses, winning-losing streak, championships won. Matches that are single partidos will be noted. Table will be according to match winning percentage. 1st tie breaker will be number of wins. 2nd tie breaker will be joko win-loss differential.

December 10, 2016

Gaubeka(d)..5-1....17-11..-1*
Zubiri(d)..... 4-4....17-13..-2*
Fusto(d).......3-3....11-11...+1
Necol(d).......3-4....14-16...+1
Landeta(d)...2-5....10-18..+2

Ibai-Perez(z).5-1....17-11...-1*
Ibargari(z).....4-3....17-13..+1
Brefel(z)........3-4....14-13..-.2
Gordon(z).....3-4....11-14..+1
Imanol(z).......2-5...10-18..+2*

*Does not include the result of Nov.25, 2016 independent match Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez v Zubiri-Imanol. The result is unknown at this time. I will add it when I find it.

Includes Nov. 19, 2016 independent match: Zuberi-Ibargari defeated Necol-Gordon 3-0 (10-8, 10-3, 10-9) at Bizkaia.

For cumulative accounting of this player table see the InnPala Player win-loss table under the Pala page on the right side of the blog. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mano--Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas Competition begins

Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas, the premier doubles competition of the 2016-2017 Mano season, began December 2, 2016. 8 teams compete for the title. The first (league) phase is a double round robin (14 matches). The top 4 finishers will then face off in a single round robin (3 matches). The two winners will play in a final on April 9, 2017.

Asegarce Competition Page

Asegarce League phase table

ASPE League phase table

Wikipedia Competition Page (Castilian)

Full ongoing league phase table (with total points and differential):

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com  21iguales.com will also keep an ongoing phase table at its main Parejas site and with every match article.

Match linescores will be provided from match articles when available. Full match linescores can be found at 21iguales.com Twitter feed.  Track back to the date and match and follow from beginning to end. The feed is also available at the Main site of 21iguales.com while the matches are in progress.

Source for all highlights and full match videos, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Week 1:

December 2, 2016

A. Fronton Gurutzeaga, Zestoa (1)(2): Artola-Albisu defeated Ezkurdia-Merino II 22-20.

Match Statistics and line score (ASPE)

Match article

The competition began with a marathon 1 hour 18 minute match that consumed 753 balls in play. After leading 19-13 and 20-15, A-A staggered home with a 22-20 victory. Artola returned to action after elbow surgery in September.

Match highlights (EITB)

Full match video (match begins at 38 minutes, 7 seconds on the recording)

December 3, 2016

B. Fronton Remontival, Lizarra (Estella) (1)(2): Oliazola II-Untoria defeated Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe 22-16

Match article, statistics, linescore (Deia)
l
Match article

A 12-3 run in the middle of the match was crucial in O-U's victory. Oliazola II led all players with 13 winners.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 58:30 on the recording)

December 4, 2016.

C. Beloki Fronton Zumarraga (1)(2)(3) Irribarria-Rezusta defeated Elezkano II-Zabaleta 22-17

Match statistics, linescore, and graph (ASPE)

Match article

A 5 point run with the score 15-15 helped I-R win. 13 E-Z errors did not help their cause. Highlight of the match (1:34:00-1:34:07 on the video) was a Zabaleta successful rebote of an Irribarria bomb that hit the back wall. Zumarraga is a short court (barely past the 10 line), but still...

Full match video: (match begins at 58:05 on the video)

December 6, 2016

4. Beotibar Fronton, Tolosa (1)(2) Altuna III-Barriola defeated Urrutikoetxea-Beroiz 22-16

Match statistics (ASPE)

Selected match linescore (Deia) (winners always listed first)

1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-3; 14-4; 15-6; 15-7; 16-12; 16-13; 17-15; 17-16; 18-16; 22-16

Match article

An 11-1 run took the match from 3-3 to 14-4 for the winners, who managed to win from that point, but not without consequences. Both Altuna III and Barriola suffered injuries, to the knee and hand respectively. Altuna III's was more severe and will cause him to miss 3 to 4 weeks. Both have been ruled out for their week 2 match. They will be replaced by Mendizabal III-Tolosa for their match against Artola-Albisu. 11 errors by U-B did not help their cause. Urrutikoetxea will be in the front court this year after winning the tournament in the back court last year.

Match highlights (21iguales.com Youtube site). Highlights include the play on which Altuna III injured his knee.

Full match video (match begins at 1:04:13 on the video)

Altuna III and Barriola injury article (Diario Vasco)