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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Remonte--Uterga and the game AFTER the Tourneo Kutxabank Final

At Galaretta Fronton  (Hernani)

September 10, 2016

Uterga-Ion defeated Ezkurra-Etxeberria III 40-18.

Full Match Video (match begins at 1 hour, 20 minutes, 15 seconds on the video).

Full match video (EITB via Oriamendi 2010)

Full Match Video (EITB)

On Thursdays and Saturdays there are four Remonte matches at the Galaretta Fronton in Hernani. The second match is the "Star match," when the highest quality players on the Oriamendi 2010 roster face off against each other. The third match is also a high quality match. Whenever the "Star Match" is a tournament final, all three other matches that day become afterthoughts. This day was no different, which was unfortunate, because Uterga played a masterpiece.

Uterga has now won two in a row.  The first was last week's star match where he and Exteberria III came back from 32-38 to win 40-38, and now this great match. Before that, going back to July 1, for matches we have results for from the Oriamendi 2010 Match database, he was 2-8, including losses in the Kutxa Bank Tournament to Barrenetxea IV and Urriza, as well as two losses in the San Fermin tournament, one to Urriza. When Ezkurra returned from injury, his first match was a victory v Uterga. The last two months have been difficult ones. In the grind of a fixture list as demanding as the Remonte fixture list is, players are bound to have ups and downs. Sometimes a mechanical flaw creeps into one's game. Sometimes a nagging injury can be the cause. Any number of things can cause a slump. For a player of Uterga's caliber, this was a long slump. But the last two victories have been great ones, the first one with back firmly bolted to the wall, the second an absolute clinic in shot making that reminded us all of what an artist with the cesta he is.

He and Ion crushed Ezkurra-Exteberria III. Uterga really hit his stride in the second half of the match, turning a still competitive 20-13 lead into a 40-18 route. In the ten points when U-I really put the match out of reach (26-14--35-15), he scored 8 of the points. He scored on 4 two-wall shots, 2 dejadas, a high and deep passing shot on one of the longest points of the match (20 balls in play) and a left wall shot. These 10 points take place from 1:55:33 to 2:03:53 of the video. It is an absolute master class in Remonte offense, well worth the 8 minutes.

Oh and by the way, you might also want to check out the point that began at 36-17 and ended at 37-17 (2:06:32--2:06:41). Uterga wins that point with a two wall shot from the 7 line, with his shoulder almost against the left wall. For the match he had, by my count, 14 two wall winners. It's a beautiful thing to see Uterga at his best.