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, 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.


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


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.