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.

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-PeƱas 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


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 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 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 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.