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, November 30, 2016

Mano--Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M--Final

The 2016-17 professional Mano season began on October 7, 2016 with the first round of the Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M competition. The 1st round quarterfinal league competition took place on  Oct. 14-16, 2016. The second round was played on Oct. 21-23. The third and final round was played on Oct. 28-30, 2016. The semi-finals were played on November 12-13, 2016.

The third place match between Urrutikoetxea and Oliazola II, which was supposed to take place on November 20, 2016, was cancelled due to a shoulder injury suffered by Oliazola II in his semi-final-loss to Altuna III.

Asegarce Competition Page

The competition had 12 players, in two groups. The opening round of four preliminary matches took place October 7-10, 2016. The four winners (two in each group) moved on to a quarter final league, where they joined four other seeded players (Urrutikoetxea and Altuna III in Gourp A, Oliazola II and Bengoetxea VI in Group B) in a single round robin quarter-final league. The 1st place finishers in each group then faced the 2nd place finishers in the other group in the semi-finals. Semi-final winners played in the final on November 27, 2016.

Note: Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated is 21iquales.com.

Source for all match video, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Final

November 27, 2016:

Ogueta Fronton, Vitoria-Gasteiz (1) (2). Bengoetxea VI defeated Altuna III 22-21

Match article and statistics (21iguales.com). 

Match article (Diario Vasco--includes link to 33 photos)

Match article (Deia)

Feature article--Altuna III (Diario Vasco)

Feature article--Bengoetxea VI (Diario Vasco)

Feature article that discusses Bengoetxea VI's triple crown (singles, doubles, 4 1/2) (Deia)

In an incredible match that see-sawed back and forth throughout, the lead changing hands 4 times, Bengoetxea VI placed a perfect left wall shot that Altuna III could not answer, winning his second consecutive 22-21 pressure match to win the tournament. 7 service aces were crucial to the win. With the victory, Bengoetxea VI becomes the 7th player in Mano history to win the triple crown (singles, doubles, and 4 1/2). He joins Julien Retegi, Fernando Arretxe, Aimar Oliazola, Juan Martinez de Irujo, Abel Barriola, and Mikel Urrutikoetxea. Urrutikoetxea won all three last season. Altuna III finished the tournament  3-2. Bengoetxea VI finished 4-1.

Match video highlights (EITB)

Video of final point of match (EITB)

Video highlights, various points (21iguales.com Youtube)

Full match video (EITB)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 5

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 (Source for individual Joko scores and scoring when available, EITB).

November 25, 2016

Fusto-Gordon defeated Necol-Ibargari 3-2 (?-?, ?-?, ?-?, ?-?. 10-?) (Source: InnPala)

Independent Match

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez v Zubiri-Imanol (?) I could not find any information on this match.

November 26, 2016

Necol-Ibargari defeated Zubiri-Brefel 3-2 (10-8, 6-10, 9-10, 10-8,10-5)

Scoring: Necol +16 -9 Ibargari +7-9    
              Zubiri +12 -11 Brefel +11 -10

601 balls in play. Time of the match: 68 minutes 43 seconds.

Fusto-Gordon defeated Landeta-Imanol 3-0 (10-4, 10-9, 10-7)

Scoring: Fusto +7 -1 Gordon +6 -6
              Landeta +7 -9  Imanol +7 -9

384 balls in play (Fusto 123, Gordon 73; Landeta 75 Imanol 113). Time of the match: 41:52.

Match Summaries for all three matches (Source: InnPala Fronton Facebook page).

Full match video for both matches (First match is from 0:00 to 1:14:50. Second match is from 1:14:51 until the end of the video). (Source EITB)

This week marked the end of the first half of the Liga competition.

The big winners over the weekend were Fusto-Gordon, whose 2 victories and 6 jokos moved them out of last place and into contention for a semi-final spot. They were Gordon's first two victories as a professional. Highlights of the weekend were the performances of Necol and Fusto on Saturday.

League Table:

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

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.......4-0....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2).....12
Zubiri-Brefel...................2-2....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3).....10
Necol-Ibargari:.................2-2....(3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2).....10
Fusto-Gordon...................2-2....(1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-0)......7
Landeta-Imanol................0-4....(1-3, 1-3, 2-3, 0-3)......4

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

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.

November 26, 2016

Gaubeka(d)....4-0....12-7...+4*
Zubiri(d)........3-2....13-7...-1*
Fusto(d)..........2-2.....7-8...+2
Necol(d).........2-3....10-12..+1
Landeta(d)......0-4.....4-12..-4

Ibai-Perez(z).4-0.....12-7...+4*
Ibargari(z).....3-2.....13-9..+1
Brefel(z)........2-2.....10-7...-1
Gordon(z)......2-3.....7-11...+2
Imanol(z)......0-4.....4-12...-4*

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

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.

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, November 26, 2016

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta comings and goings--Jai Alai Blues Documentary and intervew with Miami's "Duke"

1. Jai Alai Blues (2016, 1 hour, 40 minutes, 22 seconds, Castilian, Basque, and English with Castilian subtitles). Originally broadcast on EITB in early November, 2016, it is available at present via EITB on demand.

Produced by Berde Produkzioak in 2016, "the documentary reviews the history of  Jai Alai/Cesta Punta and its success in countries like China, Cuba, or the United States. There the pelotaris were considered artists and the media covered the activity of the frontons. But success did not last forever." (EITB). The recent history of the sport in the US is extensively covered in the last half of the film (much of which is in English). Even if you don't understand the language or subtitles, the film is well worth watching for the documentary images of Jai Alai/Cesta Punta history.

2. Jai Alai News Facebook page interview with Miami Jai Alai's "Duke." The Jai Alai News Facebook page features an interesting interview with Jonatan Hernandez, "Duke" at Miami Jai Alai. The interview is in Castilian. Auto translation may be available at the site. If not, Google Translate will give you the basics. In it he discusses his recovery from a recent auto accident, changes at Miami Jai Alai with the departure of Goikoetxea and Lopez, and the signing of new players. The interview also touches on other topics such as Quinela v Partido and playing in the US v playing in the Basque Country.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Main Nue--Irribarria-Ducassou v Larralde-Amulet

November 10, 2016 Saint Palais (1)(2)

Irribarria-Ducassou defeated Larralde-Amulet 40-30.

Selected linescore (winners always listed first)

3-3; 6-6; 7-7; 8-14; 12-14; 15-15; 21-16; 21-20; 30-24; 35-27; 40-30

Source for all information about this match: Pilota Ttiki blog

Match article

Interview with Irribarria before the match (French and Basque)

In a match arranged by l’ikastola d’Amikuze and played in a mur a gauche with drop-in side and back dugouts, the South Basque Mano singles champion successfully tried his hand at Main Nue. I-D broke open a very tight match with a 19-10 run at the end to win convincingly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Remonte--Torneo Express de Remonte--La Amistad de Zaragoza-Gran Premio Movistar 2016

Torneo Express was played at Centro Natación Helios Fronton, Zaragoza (1)(2) on November 20, 2010. It was sponsored by La Fundación Remonte Euskal Jai Berri.

It was a triangular competition.,

Ezkurra II-Barrenetxea IV defeated Endika-Ion 25-20

Urriza-Etxeberria III defeated Ezkurra II-Barrenetxea IV 25-17

Urriza-Exteberria III defeated Endika-Ion 25-17

U-E 2-0
E-B 1-1
E-I  0-2

Background article on bringing Remonte back to Zaragoza after a nearly 60 year absence. (Euskal Jai Berri)

Match article for all matches (Euskal Jai Berri)

Note: the match article noted that the final score of the final match was 30-17, but elsewhere on the Euskal Jai Berri website the score was reported as 25-17.

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 4

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 (Source for Scores, InnPala, Diario Vasco Cartelera, InnPala Fronton Facebook page).

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez defeated Landeta-Imanol 3-2 (4-10, 10-9, 9-10, 10-7, 10-5).

League Table:

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

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.......4-0....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2).....12
Zubiri-Brefel...................2-1....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0).............8
Necol-Ibargari:................1-1.....(3-1, 2-3)....................5
Landeta-Imanol...............0-3....(1-3, 1-3, 2-3).............4
Fusto-Gordon..................0-2....(1-3, 0-3).....................1

In a separate non-Liga match Zubiri-Ibargari defeated Necol-Gordon 3-0 (10-8, 10-3, 10-9).

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.

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

November 19, 2016

Gaubeka(d)....4-0....12-7...+4
Zubiri(d)........3-1....11-4...+3
Necol(d).........1-2.....5-7....-2
Fusto(d)..........0-2.....1-6....-2
Landeta(d)......0-3.....4-9....-3

Ibai-Perez(z).4-0.....12-7...+4
Brefel(z)........2-1.....8-4....+2
Ibargari(z).....2-1.....8-4....+1
Imanol(z).......0-3.....4-9....-3
Gordon(z)......0-3.....1-9....-3

Includes Nov. 19, 2016 independent match: Zubiri-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.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mano--Mano--Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M--3rd Place Match Cancelled

The 2016-17 professional Mano season began on October 7, 2016 with the first round of the Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M competition. The 1st round quarterfinal league competition took place on  Oct. 14-16, 2016. The second round was played on Oct. 21-23. The third and final round was played on Oct. 28-30, 2016. The semi-finals were played on November 12-13, 2016.

Asegarce Competition Page

The competition has 12 players, in two groups. The opening round of four preliminary matches took place October 7-10, 2016. The four winners (two in each group) move on to a quarter final league, where they join four other seeded players (Urrutikoetxea and Altuna III in Gourp A, Oliazola II and Bengoetxea VI in Group B) in a single round robin quarter-final league. The 1st place finishers in each group will then face the 2nd place finishers in the other group in the semi-finals. Semi-final winners will play in the final on November 27, 2016.

Note: Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated is 21iquales.com.

The match for 3rd place between Oliazola II and Urrutikoetxea, which was to be played Labrit Fronton, Iruna (Pamplona) (1) (2) on Saturday, November 19, 2016, was cancelled due to a shoulder injury Oliazola II suffered in his semi-final loss to Altuna III last week. Details can be found in a Deia article. Oliazola II is expected to be out of action for "a few weeks."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mano--Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M--Semi-finals

The 2016-17 professional Mano season began on October 7, 2016 with the first round of the Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M competition. The 1st round quarterfinal league competition took place on  Oct. 14-16, 2016. The second round was played on Oct. 21-23. The third and final round was played on Oct. 28-30, 2016. The semi-finals were played on November 12-13, 2016.

Asegarce Competition Page

The competition has 12 players, in two groups. The opening round of four preliminary matches took place October 7-10, 2016. The four winners (two in each group) move on to a quarter final league, where they join four other seeded players (Urrutikoetxea and Altuna III in Gourp A, Oliazola II and Bengoetxea VI in Group B) in a single round robin quarter-final league. The 1st place finishers in each group will then face the 2nd place finishers in the other group in the semi-finals. Semi-final winners will play in the final on November 27, 2016.

Note: Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated is 21iquales.com.

Source for all match video, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Semi Finals:

November 12, 2016:

Labrit Fronton, Iruna (Pamplona) (1) (2). Bengoetxea VI defeated Urrutikoetxea 22-21.

Match article:

Match article (Deia)

Interview with Urrutikoetxea (Deia)

Down 19-15, Urrutikoetxea had Bengoetxea VI just where he wanted him. On July 7, 2016, Urrutikoetxea had come back from 9-18 to defeat Ezcurdia 22-21 in the final of the San Fermin 4 1/2 Tournament (scroll to the bottom of the link). On May 1, 2016, in the Buruz Buruko, he came back from 14-18 to defeat Ezcurdia 22-19, and in this very tournament last year, November 29, 2015, he came back from 10-20 to defeat Mtz. de Irujo to win the 4 1/2 Txapelketa. Links to those matches can be found here. So having his back to the wall wasn't a strange position. At 19-15, Bengoetxea VI faulted on the serve, to open the door. A perfect left wall shot followed by a perfect cross-court kill shot got Urrutikoetxea to within one. But Bengoetxea VI then rallied to end a brilliant 14 ball point with a high shot that Urrutikoetxea tried to counter with a two wall shot that failed. It was a prescient moment, though no one knew it at the time. 20-18. A left wall pass made it 21-18. Surely it was over. But it wasn't. After a collision caused a replay, Urrutikoetxea beat Bengoetxea VI down the left side. 21-19. A left wall pass made it 21-20. A cross-court kill shot tied the match. Surely now, with the serve, Urrutikoetxea was going to show his comeback magic again. He went for the kill quickly with a two wall shot..... that missed badly, putting Bengoetxea VI into the final. Urrutikoetxea finished the tournament at 3-1.

Match highlights

Match highlights (21iquales.com)

Full match video (fronton.tv) Scroll to "Pamplona-Labrit" 12/11/2016.

November 13, 2016:

Atano III Fronton, (Donostia (San Sebastian)) (1) (2): Altuna III defeated Oliazola II 22-13.

Match article

Match article (Deia)

Altuna III got off to a 6-2 lead and never looked back, scoring a surprisingly easy victory of Oliazola II. Altuna III will meet Bengoetxea VI in the final on November 27, 2016. Oliazola II finished the tournament 3-1.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 57 minutes, 50 seconds on the video).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Main Nue--Player Rankings--November 11, 2016

Main Nue complete player rankings are available on the player rankings page (Under "Main Nue") on the right side of the main blog page. You can also find how these rankings are calculated there.

Complete Player Rankings as of November 11, 2016. Current through Tournoi de Macaye. The top five rankings remain the same.

Top 5
Larralde
Ducassou
Ospital
Guichandut
Bilbao

Complete Player Rankings as of October 15, 2016. Current through Tournoi de Bidart.

Top 5
Larralde
Ducassou
Ospital
Guichandut
Bilbao

Main Nue--Tournois de Macaye

Tournoi de Macaye (1)(2), an EP 1000 tournament, was played November 5 and 11, 2016.

Sources for scores (Esku Pilota Results page)

November 5, 2016

Semi-finals:

Monce-Bilbao defeated L. Lambert- X. Lambert 40-26

Inchauspé-Lazcano defeated Etchegaray-de Ezcurra 40-30

November 11, 2016

Final;

Monce-Bilbao defeated Inchauspé-Lazcano 40-25

Match article, including audio interview with Bilbao and full match video

Full match video (Esku Pilota Youtube)

Like the recent Tournois de Bidart and Trophee Atharee  this tournament was played on a mur a gauche with a drop-in Trinquet dugout. And like those two tournament finals,this one is also interesting to watch from the standpoint of a right side of the court that is open. Monce-Bilbao dominated both of their matches.

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 3

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 (source for scores, statistics, and full match videos--EITB)

Bizkaia:

Full match video for both matches

Gaubeka--Ibai Perez defeated Necol-Ibargari 3-2 (10-4, 10-9, 4-10, 6-10, 10-3).

Scoring: Gaubeka +14 -7 Ibai-Perez +5 -6; Necol +17 -7 Ibargari +6 -14

820 balls in play. Total score: 40-36. Time of match: 74 minutes 28 seconds.

G-I remain undefeated at 3-0 (9pts). In the two matches we have scoring for Gaubeka is +29 -14.

Zubiri-Brefel defeated Fusto-Gordon 3-0 (10-2, 10-9, 10-7).

Scoring: Zubiri +10 -4 Brefel +9 -2; Fusto +8 -4 Gordon +4 -7

381 balls in play. Total score: 30-18. Time of match 40:36.

Fusto and Imanol, at present the highest ranked front and back court players on the InnPala roster, have yet to win a match in La Liga.

Match article for both matches (Source: InnPala Fronton Facebook page. Auto translate to English may be available).

League Table:

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

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez.......3-0....(3-2, 3-1, 3-2).....9
Zubiri-Brefel...................2-1....(2-3, 3-1, 3-0)....8
Necol-Ibargari:................1-1.....(3-1, 2-3)...........5
Landeta-Imanol...............0-2....(1-3, 1-3)............2
Fusto-Gordon..................0-2....(1-3, 0-3)............1

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

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.

November 12, 2016

Gaubeka(d)....3-0.....9-5...+3
Zubiri(d)........2-1.....8-4...+2
Necol(d).........1-1.....5-4....-1
Landeta(d)......0-2.....2-6...-2
Fusto(d)..........0-2.....1-6...-2

Ibai-Perez(z).3-0.....9-5...+3
Brefel(z)........2-1.....8-4...+2
Ibargari(z).....1-1.....5-4....-1
Imanol(z).......0-2.....2-6...-2
Gordon(z)......0-2.....1-6...-2

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.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Main Nue--23rd Coup de Chasseurs

The 23rd Coup de Chasseurs, an EP 500 competition, ran from August 31-November 7, 2017. It was a 50 point doubles tournament. The particulars of the tournament were discussed in this blog post. The tournament was held at Trinquet Garat, (Saint-John-Pied-de-Port(Donibane Garazi))(1)(2). All matches were covered in the Main Nue recurring 50 point match results page on the right side of the blog (see G23rd-CdC for the dates listed above).

November 7, 2016

* Not listed on the Esku Pilota player pages at present.

Final:

Elgart (substituting for Ospital)-Lucu* defeated Aguirre-Lafitte* 50-35.

Scoring: Elgart +20 (inlcuding 7 service aces) -7;  Lucu +10 -3
            Aguirre +17 (including 4 service aces) -10;  Lafitte +8 -10

Equalities: 2, 3, 4, 8

Decade linescores: (winners always listed first):

4-6; 11-9; 18-12; 22-18; 29-21; 32-28; 38-32; 46-34

Playing time: 45 mintes 33 seconds; total time: 1:28: 38.

Match article along with link to an audio interview and full match video (Source: Esku Pilota)

Full match video (Source: Esku Pilota Youtube site)

E-L handed A-L their first loss in the tournament in the final. E-L were in control much of the way. A-L made a comeback in the 5th decade to cut the lead in half. but E-L then drew away to an easy victory, outscoring A-L 18-7.  The Goizeko Izarra tourmament page (which also contains full match statistics) emphasized ("mention speciale") the performance of Lucu. A-L finished 3-1. E-L finished with the same record.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Multiple Modalities--FIPV IX Mondial Pelota Basque Espoirs Fronton 36m

The Federación Internacional de Pelota Vasca, with the aid of the Fédération Française de Pelote Basque, held its IX Mondial Pelota Basque Espoirs Fronton 36m under 22 amateur competition from October 23-29, 2016 at Plaza Berri, Biarritz (1)(2)(3). Competition took place in 3 modalities: Mano doubles, Mano singles, Pala Corta and Paleta Cuero (Paleta Cuir). Teams from 8 nations (Spain, France, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the United States) competed.

All semi-finals and finals, a total of 10 matches (there were no Pala Corta semi-finals) were televised by Canal+ and made available for on demand viewing by the Audiense Audiovisuel and FIPV Youtube sites. Individual players are identified in the match videos.

Audiense Audiovisuel

FIPV

668 photos (Source FFPB).

Final Nation results and medals

All results (all matches were played in sets).

Mano Indivdual

Mano Parejas (doubles)

Paleta Cuero (Paleta Cuir)

Pala Corta

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank--Week 2

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 sem-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

Sopela (1)(2) (Joko scores source: Diario Vasco Cartelera, Nov. 6, 2016).

Zubiri-Brefel defeated Landeta-Imanol 3-1 (10-5, 1-10, 10-5, 10-9)

Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez defeated Fusto-Gordon 3-1 (10-8, 6-10, 10-1, 10-6).

Match article for both matches with 7 photos (Source: InnPala Fronton Facebook page). Auto translate may be available.

Video of Zubiri-Ibai-Perez v F-G practice on Nov. 1, 2016 (Source: InnPala Twitter feed).

Video of Gordon training (with Ibai-Perez, Fusto, and Zubiri) on Oct. 31, 2016) (Source: Innpala Twitter feed).

Match video of one point of G-I v F-G (Source: InnPala Fronton Facebook page).

Iker Gordon played his first match as a professional at his home fronton. It was a well played match, but, according to the match article, G-I are the in form team at the moment, having now won both their opening matches. Special mention was made of the play of Ibai-Perez.

League Table:

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

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

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

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.

November 5, 2016

Gaubeka(d)....2-0.....6-3...+2
Necol(d).........1-0.....3-1...+1
Zubiri(d)........1-1.....5-4...+1
Fusto(d)..........0-1.....1-3...-1
Landeta(d)......0-2.....2-6...-2

Ibai-Perez(z).2-0.....6-3...+2
Ibargari(z).....1-0.....3-1...+1
Brefel(z)........1-1.....5-4...+1
Gordon(z)......0-1.....1-3...-1
Imanol(z).......0-2.....2-6...-2

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.

Main Nue--Tournois Herriarena and Replay of Tournoi Hoberenak (Arcangues) Final

1. Tournois Herriarena (Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry) (1)(2), an EP 1000 tournament, was played October 23, 30, and November 6, 2016.

Source of scores: Esku Pilota Results page. Note: scroll to dates or name of tournament.

* Not listed at the Esku Pilota player page at present.

November 6, 2016

Final:

Olcomendy*-Ducassou defeated Bielle (substituting for Larralde)-Amulet 40-27

Match article, including an audio interview with Olcomendy and full match video (Source: Esku Pilota) (Added Nov. 11, 2016)>

Full match video (Source: Esku Pilota Youtube site) (Added Nov. 11, 2016).

October 23, 2016:

1st Semi-final

Olcomendy*-Ducassou defeated Beille-Guichandut 40-30.

Match statistics

O-D lead throughout the match, although B-G made a run at them in 4th decade (20-10--23-17). Bielle led all scorers with +18, but was somewhat neutralized by Guichandut's -11. Ducassou's scoring was +10 -1.

October 30, 2016

2nd Semi-final:

Larralde-Amulet defeated Lambert-de Ezcurra 40-18.

=============================.

2. Tournoi Hobernak (D'Arcangues) (1)(2), an EP 1000 tournament, was completed on November 1, 2016 with a full replay of the final that was originally played on July 14, 2016. That match was postponed after Larralde suffered an ankle injury.

Full coverage of the tournament.

November 1, 2016

Final Replay

Larralde-Ducassou defeated Waltary-Bilbao 40-28

Match article, along with link to an audio interview with Ducassou and full match video (Source: Esku Pilota)

Full match video (Source: Esku Pilota Youtube site).

The second try at playing this match suffered the same fate as the first, except for the fact that Bilbao was able to come back from injuring his left hand. In fact the break seemed to interrupt L-D's momentum and led to an 15-2 run and a 18-16 lead for W-B. But they couldn't keep their momentum going, and L-D dominated the rest of the match 24-10 to win the championship.

Mano--Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M--3rd Round Quarterfinal League

The 2016-17 professional Mano season began on October 7, 2016 with the first round of the Lau eta erdiko Txapelketa 2016/Campeonato del 4 1/2 de 1a categoría 2016 LEP. M competition. The 1st round quarterfinal league competition took place on  Oct. 14-16, 2016. The second round was played on Oct. 21-23. The third and final round was played on Oct. 28-30, 2016

Asegarce Competition Page

The competition has 12 players, in two groups. The opening round of four preliminary matches took place October 7-10, 2016. The four winners (two in each group) move on to a quarter final league, where they join four other seeded players (Urrutikoetxea and Altuna III in Gourp A, Oliazola II and Bengoetxea VI in Group B) in a single round robin quarter-final league. The 1st place finishers in each group will then face the 2nd place finishers in the other group in the semi-finals. Semi-final winners will play in the final on November 27, 2016.

Note: Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated is 21iquales.com.

Source for all match video, unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB.

Quarterfinal league third and final round: Note: Final group tables are given below.

Group A:

October 30, 2016

Atano III Fronton, (Donostia (San Sebastian)) (1) (2): Altuna III defeated Irribarria 22-9.

Match article

For the second match in a row Altuna III ended the match with a big run. He wasn't in the desperate straits that he was in against Victor (trailing 12-19 before scoring the last 10 points), but blew open a 7-7 deadlock by outscoring Irribarria 14-1. He finished 2-1, 2nd in Group A and will now face the winner of Group B Oliazola II at this venue on November 13. Irribarria finished the tournament 1-2 in the league phase and 2-2 overall.

Match highlights

Match highlights (21iguales.com)

Full match video (match begins at 1 hour 15 minutes 15 seconds on the video).

October 31, 2016

Santanape Fronton, (Gernika (Guernica)) (1) (2) (3): Urrutikoetxea defeated Victor 22-5.

Match article:

Urrutikoetxea dispatched Victor in a little over 1/2 hour, with the aid of  two runs that amounted to 13-2. Urrutikoetxea finished undefeated in league play (3-0) and now advances to face 2nd place Group B finisher Bengoetxea VI November 12 at Iruna (Pamplona). Victor finished the league phase 0-3 and was 1-3 for the tournament.

Match highlights

Group B:

October 28, 2016

Madalensoro Fronton  (Oiartzun) (1)(2Oliazola II defeated Retgi BI 22-6.

Match article:

For the 3rd consecutive match, Retegi BI scored the first point of a match he lost decisively. Oliazola II responded to his deficit by scoring the next 10 and finished the match with a 6 point run. Oliazola II takes a perfect 3-0 league record into his semi-final next week Retegi BI finished the league phase 0-3. To add injury to insult he damaged his left hand in this match.

Final point of the match

Full match video (match begins at 1:02:50 of the video)

October 29, 2016

Labrit Fronton, Iruna (Pamplona) (1) (2Bengoetxea VI defeated Ezkurdia 22-6.

Match article:

In the only elimination match in the final round,  a 14 point Bengoetxea VI run (7-4--21-4) led to a surprisingly easy victory over Ezkurdia. For Ezkurdia, who just a week before lost a 21-16 lead to Olaizola II, it was a sad end to a tournament that had promised much. Bengoetxea VI finished the league phase 2-1 and moves on to the semi-finals, recovering with two dominating victories after losing his own heartbreaker to Oliazola II two weeks before. Ezkurdia finished the league phase 1-2 and was 2-2 overall for the tournament.

Match highlights

Full match video (Fronton.tv) Scroll to Pamplona-Labrit 29/10/2016

Final league table

Group A

Urrutikoetxea...3-0
Altuna III..........2-1
Irribarria...........1-2
Victor................0-3

Group B

Oliazola II.........3-0
Bengoetxea VI..2-1
Ezkurdia............1-2
Retegi BI...........0-3

Monday, November 7, 2016

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Recent Happenings North and South

Here are some Jai Alai/Cesta Punta recent comings and goings in the Basque Country. Many of you may have already seen or read about some or all of this. For you this will hopefully be a "one stop" source. For those who haven't, enjoy this compilation.

North Basque:

October 31, 2016

Saint-Jean de Luz (Donibane Lohizune) (1) (2) Trophée d'Automne de Cesta Punta Final:

Olha-Errandonea defeated Laduche-Laborde 2-1 (15-12, 12-15, 5-0).

Full match video. Source: Intnationaux Cesta Punta Youtube site.

I was unable to find any information about any preliminary matches in this tournament. It was youth v experience in this hotly contested final. The player to watch in this match is 22 year old front courter Ludovic Laduche. We will be seeing a lot more of him soon, if this match is any indication. He and 18 year old Theo Laborde gave old pro Christophe Olha and Mathieu Errandonea all they could handle and then some before the veterans took over the tie-breaker.

South Basque

October 31, 2016

1. Gernika (Guernica) (1) (2)

Egiguren-Enbil defeated Hormaetxea-Lopez 2-1 (15-11, 13-15, 5-2).

Video Preview  Source: Vimeo via Jai Alai Facebook Page.

Match article (Castilian, auto-translate may be available, including 5 photos and an audio interview with Lopez). (Source: Jai Alai News Facebook page). This match article, even in translation, is one of the best I've read. It will tell you everything you need to know about the electric atmosphere and great match this was.

2. Two Interviews with Imanol Lopez

A. "Lopez: 'Estoy Feliz de Poder Jugar en Casa'," (Oct. 30, 2016). Source: Jai Alai Facebook page. Auto translate may be available at the site

B. "Imanol Lopez: 'Zestaz gozatzen segitzen dut, baina lehentasunak aldatuta'" (Oct. 29, 2016). Source: baleike.eus. No auto translate available.

3. Interview with Mikel Egiguren  "Egiguren: 'Voy a Salir a Acabar el Partido Adelante" (Oct. 28, 2016). Source: Jai Alai News Facebook page. Auto translate may be available at the site.

4. EITB Documentary: Origen: "Guillermo Amuchastegui" (Castilian, running time: 1 hour, 5 minutes, 9 seconds). "Guillermo Antonio Amuchástegui, 'the monarch', loved and hated at the same time. A character that could be the protagonist of any hollywood movie." Source: Jai Alai News Facebook page.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pala--La Liga Kutxabank Competition begins. Introduction of table of wins and losses

La Liga Kutxabank competition began on October 29, 2016 at Bizkaia Fronton, Bilbo(Bilbao) (1)(2). This short court 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 .

October 29, 2016:

Necol-Ibargari defeated Landeta-Imanol 3-1 (10-9, 9-10, 10-2, 10-1).

Basic statistics: (Source: EITB).

Scoring: Necol +11 -9,  Ibargari +3 -7:  Landeta +2 -12 , Imanol +4 -13

Balls in play: 428

Gaubeka-Ibai Perez defeated Zubiri-Brefel 3-2 (10-4, 6-10, 10-1, 4-10, 10-7)

Scoring: Gaubeka +15 -8, Ibai-Perez +9 -12: Zubiri +8 -9 Brefel +4 -7

Balls in play: 765

Full match videos for both matches: the two matches begin at 0:00 and 45:13 on the video. Note: the 5th joko (set) of the second match begins at 1:57:37 on the recording. (Source: EITB)

The new season got underway at Bizkaia with two Liga matches that showed that some rust had developed on players who had seen little action for the past two months. At the same time there was some sparkling play that showed a) just how difficult it is to play this game and b) how good these players are. The first match showed the rust, as the two teams didn't seem to find any rhythm at all until about the 15th point of the match. It was a match dominated by errors (41 of the 61 points), one in which only Necol had more winners than errors. Still, the first two jokos had dramatic finishes before N-I completely took over the match, Necol hitting some beautiful two wall shots, and L-I both struggling to keep the ball on the court. The second match began to reveal the potential of Eric Zubiri. He was discussed in the blog coverage of last summer's  Kirol Txartela Masters Tournament.

In the final of that tournament he had trouble staying on his feet, but still had the best ratio of winners to errors and tied for the most winners in the match. In this match he had no trouble staying on his feet, except when he was sliding  all over the court and apron to save seemingly innumerable winners. He is young and raw and makes mistakes. In this match there were occasional communication problems with his partner about who covered what area, but he is very quick, very enthusiastic, and makes amazing plays. His statistics did not really show his value in this match. Gaubeka and Ibai-Perez looked very steady most of the time and made plays in crucial situations.

League Table:

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

Necol-Ibargari:...............1-0.....(3-1)....3
Gaubeka--Ibai-Perez......1-0.....(3-2)....3
Brefel-Zubiri..................0-1....(2-3).....2
Landeta-Imanol...............0-1....(1-3)....1
Fusto-Gordon..................0-0................0

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

Table of wins and losses for the 2016-2017

As the season begins, and most professional Pala competitions use joko (set) results as the method for calculation of competition tables, it might be interesting to track these players cumulatively throughout the season in terms of wins and losses. Players will be grouped by position (front or back). The table will begin here but will be kept up to date under the InnPala Player win-loss table page on the right side of the blog.

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.
.
Oct. 29, 2016

Necol(d).........1-0.....3-1...+1
Gaubeka(d)....1-0.....3-2...+1
Fusto(d).........0-0.....0-0
Zubiri(d).......0-1.....2-3....-1
Landeta(d).....0-1.....1-3...-.1

Ibargari(z).....1-0.....3-1...+1
Ibai-Perez(z).1-0.....3-2...+1
Gordon(z).....0-0.....0-0
Brefel(z).......0-1.....2-3....-1
Imanol(z)......0-1.....1-3....-1

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, November 5, 2016

Main Nue--Tournoi Ossau Iraty

Tournoi Ossau Iraty,  was played at Trinquet Saint-Andre, Baiona (Bayonne) (1)(2), October 13, 20, and 27th, 2016.

Source for scores (Esku Pilota Results page (scroll to dates)

Video source: Esku Pilota Youtube site

* Not listed at the Esku Pilota player pages at present

Semi-finals:

October 13, 2016

Elgart-Lucu* defeated Monce-Iturbe* 40-35

October 20, 2016

Aguirre-Lazcano defeated Inchauspe-Benesse* 40-24

Final:

October 27, 2016

Aguirre-Lazcano defeated Elgart-Lucu* 40-39.

Full match video

Since there were no match statistics available, I created my own.

Number of balls in play: 921

Number of balls in play: number of points

0-9: 41
10-19: 24
20-29: 10
30-39: 3 (including one that was replayed because Lucu accidently hit Aguirre in the back of the head with a shot)

40+: 2

Longest point: 47 balls in play (14-3 to 15-3)

Scoring (my subjective judgments, yours may be different).

Aguirre +20 (including 7 service aces) -1; Lazcano +10 -3
Elgart  +18 (including 6 service aces) -5; Lucu +17 -5

Though not contested by the stars of the Esku Pilota roster, this was one of the most dramatic and entertaining matches played this year. Consider:

Equalities: 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Lead changes: 8 (the first at 23-24, the last at 38-37).

Decade scores: (winners always listed first): 9-1, 15-5, 20-10, 23-17, 25-25, 31-29, 35-35

Full condensed linescore (winners always listed first):

2-0; 2-1; 12-1; 12-3; 15-3; 15-6; 16-6; 16-8; 19-8; 19-10; 20-10; 20-14; 22-14; 22-17; 23-17; 23-24; 25-24; 25-26; 27-26; 27-28; 31-28; 31-31; 32-31; 32-32; 35-32; 35-36; 36-36; 36-37; 38-37; 38-38; 39-38; 39-39; 40-39

Sometimes "small" matches can be great matches. This was such a case.

Cedric Lucu played especially well (even though his error decided the match).

MY ARTICLE: Cedric Lucu, 17 winners, point by point