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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

SUSPENSION OF BLOG

After a little over a year of doing this blog and the weekly reports that preceded it, I have decided to suspend production. If and when I resume, you will be able to find the resumption here. This was an experiment in Librarianship to attempt to bring many sources together to produce  an easily accessible digest of BP. After 301 posts and 8 weekly reports before that, I have come full circle, following, to the best of my ability, one year in the cycle of BP. As the cycle begins again, I feel this is a good time to stop and pursue other things for a while. I will leave everything as it is for the use of those who might want to use it as an index or source of reference.

Thank you for your support.

Zure garraiolari eskerrak

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--FFPB 2017 Coupe de France Pro-Am Final

The Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB) 2017 Coupe de France Pro-Am competition was held at Fronton Euskal Jai, Biarritz (1) (2) from January 26 to April 27, 2017. Partial results of the tournament are available at the Biarritz Athletic Club website

April 27, 2017.

Final

A.S Hossegor (Moresmau-Etcheverry)(blue) defeated Pau (Curveur-A. Alliez) (red) 2-1 (15-9, 6-15,10-5)

Full match video (Canal+ via Audiense Audiovisueal Youtube site.

Brief match article and 5 photos (Jai Alai News Facebook page)

FFPB photos (scroll through the photos to the "National A" section.

This year the amateurs beat the players with professional experience in a match that was close, although none of the sets were.

As always, the Canal+ coverage was terrific.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Main Nue: Baptiste Ducassou--Juge Arbitre

The Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB) held its Amateur Main Nue Individuel Final at Trinquet Moderne, Bayonne (1)(2) on April 23, 2017.

A. S. Eskulari-Lahonce (Dufourcq) (blue)  defeated Aïretik-Mendionde (Bonetbelche) (red) 40-33.

Match article (Pilota Ttiki)

17 photos (FFPB) Scroll to "National A" near the bottom of the page.

For Dufourq this match evened his record against Bonetbelche in amateur finals held in the last two months, as Bonetbelche had won the Ligue de Pelote du Pays Basque Championship on March 26, 40-26.

But there was another interesting aspect to the FFPB final. Look closely at the FFPB photos. One in particular. It is the "Juge Arbitre" for this match, none other than Baptiste Ducassou, the premier back court player in Main Nue at present. It seems that Ducassou, in the heat of the moment in an FFPB Championnat de France Poule match in March, lost his temper at what he thought was a poor call and let the Juge Arbitre know it in no uncertain terms. He apologized later.

Instead of a punitive reaction such as a suspension, which is invoked regularly in other "major league" sports, the FFPB required him to be Juge Arbitre for this match.

Now that is a sports story we don't hear about very often :)

Pala: Bizkaia Open Begins

The 2017 Bizkaia Open short court tournament, a "bridge" between the recently completed winter Pala season and summer tournaments and festivals, began on April 22, 2017 and will end with a Pro-Am and Amateur final on June 17. Though it is known by the name of the venue for some of the matches, including the final, this tournament is played at venues all over the South Basque Country. This year a North Basque Country venue is also scheduled for the competition. The venues are: Bilbao, Armintza, Balmaseda, Biarritz, Gallarta, Sopela, Mungia, Zalla, and Zierbena. This is a single round robin tournament with 6 teams, comprising the entire InnPala roster, plus two promising amateurs, who are paired with last year's champions. The teams:

* Amateur

Necol-Martin Figeac*
Mikel Sanz*-Imanol
Fusto-Ibargarai
Zubiri-Ibai Perez
Gaubeka-Gordon
Landeta-Brefel

Mikel Sanz played in last year's tournament. The other amateur player in that tournament was Iker Gordon, now an InnPala professional. Martin Figeac won the Federation Francais de Pelote Basque 2016 Championat de France Junior (under 22) pala corta competition. Match video for that Final match is available via pelotelive.free.fr (Make sure to click on "desactiver" under the video in order to disable PFF's auto refresh. Otherwise the video will stop). Figeac is in the back court on the red team. He was also runner up in the 2016 IX Mondial Pelota Basque Espoirs Fronton 36m under 22 amateur Pala Corta competition played in  October 2016 at Biarritz. There is also full match video for that Final. Figeac is in the back court on the red team.

Standings for the Bizkia Open will be determined entirely by number of jokos (sets) won.

At the end of the league phase, a two match semi final (1 v 4 and 2 v 3) will be played to determine the finalists. There will be a Final for the amateur competition that accompanies this competition, followed by the Final, on June 17.

Tournament preview article (Deia)

Tournament preview article (mundodeportivo.com)

Complete recap of the 2016 Bizkaia Open, including all match scores, tournament table, and link to full match video of final match.

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

April 22, 2017

Jornada 1

Sources for match scores: Innpala Twitter feed, Diario Vasco Cartelera (April 23), and Innpala Fronton Facebook page. Note that for the the second match below, DV had the scores correct but the winners reversed.

Bizkaia, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2)

Fusto-Ibargarai defeated Gaubeka-Gordon 3-0 (10-5, 10-7, 10-5)

Zubiri-Ibai Perez defeated Mikel Sanz*-Imanol 3-2 (7-10, 7-10, 10-6, 10-4, 10-4)

As of this posting, I have found no match articles or videos for these matches.

Bizkaia Open Table

Key: Team; Joko Record, Team Points, Match Record

Fusto-Ibargarai..................(3-0); 3; 1-0
Zubiri-Ibai Perez ..............(3-2); 3- 1-0
Mikel Sanz*-Imanol......... (2-3); 2; 0-1
Gaubeka-Gordon ..............(0-3); 0; 0-1
Necol-Martin Figeac*
Landeta-Brefel

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

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. We begin the season with  La Liga Kutxabank, starting October 29, 2016.

April 22, 2017

Championships:  L=La Liga; MI-Mundial Individual; MP-Mundial Parejas

Fusto(d)............13-8....46-37..+4.......1(MP)
Gaubeka(d)......11-9....43-38...-4*....1(L)
Zubiri(d)...........9-8.....34-31..+1*
Necol(d)...........11-12...46-49.+1
Landeta(d)........6-13...31-46..+1

Ibai-Perez(z).....17-6....59-37..+1*....3(L, MI, MP)
Ibargari(z)..........9-8....35-31...+2
Brefel(z).............9-8....35-32...-1
Imanol(z)...........8-12...38-44...-1*
Gordon(z)..........7-15...32-53...-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.

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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mano: Eskuz Banakako Txapelketa-Campeonato Manomanista De Lep.M--1/8 Finals

Eskuz Banakako Txapelketa-Campeonato Manomanista De Lep.M, the premier professional Mano singles championship competition, began on April 14, 2017 and will end on May 28, 2017. It is a seeded ladder knockout tournament consisting of 4 1/16 round play in matches, followed by seeded 1/8 and Quarter-finals. Quarter final winners will play a Semi-final and Semi-final winners will play in the final. A third place match will be played on May 21, 2017.

Players seeded in at the 1/8 level: Artola, Rezusta, Olaizola II, and Ezkurdia.
Players seeded in at the Quarter-final level: Irribarria (defending champion), Altuna III, Bengoetxea VI, and Urrutikoetxea.

Asegarce Competition page  (choose any year back to 1999 next to the "seleciona la temporada") for complete score recap of every tournament).

ASPE Competition page

21iguales.com Competition page

21iguales Twitter feed live scoring page

List of previous winners going back to 1940 (Asegarce)

Available final match videos

1948 (Gallestegi 22 Atano III 6--highlights only) ;

1992 (Galarza III 22 Retegi II 12--added April 27, 2017) ; 1993 (Retegi II 22 Galarza III 19) ; 1995 (Beloki 22 Errandonea 15)1997 (Arretxe 22 Elkoro 18)

2000 (Eugi 22 Beloki 13) ; 2001 (Beloki 22 Eugi 8) ; 2002 (Barriola 22 Beloki 3) ; 2003 (Patxi Ruiz 22 Olaizola II 7) ;  2004 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Xala 12) : 2005 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 18) ; 2006  (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Olaizola II 17) ; 2007 (Olaizola II 22 Barriola 10) ; 2008 (Bengoetxea VI 22 Barriola 11) ; 2009 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Olaizola II 12)

2010 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Xala 13--1:18:45) 2011 (Xala 22 Olaizola II 19) ; 2012 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 7) ;  2013 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 7) ; 2014 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Retegi BI 9--1:22:38) ;  2015 (Urrutikoetxea 22 Olaizola II 19) ; 2016 (Irribarria 22 Urrutikoetxea 13)

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1/16 Finals

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com. Source for all match video (highlights and full match video) unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB).

1/8 finals

April 21,2017

A.  Bergara (1)(2)(3): Rezusta defeated Victor 22-19

Match article with statistics and scoring

Until this match no back court player had won in this tournament. Rezusta, seeded in at the 1/8 level, was the last back court man in the tournament, and, at 2-8 it looked as if he too would be dispatched. But he did not panic and slowly worked his way back into the match. Halfway through he was still down 6-10. But at 6-11 he broke through with a 9-1 run to take the initiative. A 7-4 Victor run tied the score at 19, but then two contrasting Rezusta winners (short and very long) following a Victor error sealed the victory. It was Rezusta's 10th consecutive victory, 9 in the Mundial Parejas and this one. His next opponent is Altuna III.

Match highlights

Full match video (EITB--Basque) (match begins at 35 minutes 5 seconds on the video)

Full match video (fronton.tv--Castilian) (scroll to "Bergara - 21/04/2017").

April 22, 2017

B. Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona) (1)(2): Olaizola II defeated Mendizabal III 22-5

Match article wth statistics and scoring

Mendizabal III won the first point of the match, but a 6-0 run by Olaizola II at the beginning and an 11-0 run at the end led to a very easy victory (the match took barely over 1/2 hour). Olaizola (+19 -1) played a nearly perfect match. His next opponent is Bengoetxea VI.

Match higlights

Full match video (match begins at 51:38 on the video)

April 23, 2017

C. Ogueta, Vitoria-Gasteiz (1)(2): Ezkurdia defeated Retegi BI 22-11

Match article with statistics and scoring

Ezkurdia used 4-0 runs at the beginning and in the middle, and a 6-0 run at the end to finish Retegi BI's tournament. Retegi BI  re-injured his shoulder (see match highlights) but was able to continue. Ezkurdia's  next opponent is Urrutikoetxea.

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 1:20:19 on the video)

April 24, 2017 

D. Zumaia (1)(2): Artola defeated Laso 22-13.

Match article with statistics and scoring

Artola dominated most of the match, using 7-1 and 13-1 runs to lead to what should have been an easy demolition of his young opponent. However, Laso did not go without a fight, with an 8-0 run to take the score from 20-5 to 20-13. Alas, it was too little, too late. 9 errors (according to 21iguales.com) hurt his cause. Artola's next opponent is defending champion Irribarria.

Match highlights

Match highlights (21iguales.com) (parts or all of 7 selected points)>

There was no full match video for this match.

Main Nue: FFPB CDC Elite Pro par Equipe--Semi-finals --April 21, 22 2017

The Main Nue Elite Pro par Equipe (pairs) Championnat de France A and B competition is sponsored by the  Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB). The competition began on March 3, 2017 and ends on May 7, 2017. You can follow its progress here (link to "resultats" from the FFPB home  page).  Pelotelive.free.fr also provides A and B coverage. The tournaments have a "poule" phase, a single round robin, followed by a playoff system that is explained below. It turns out not to be quite as byzantine as I thought. :) It is a very interesting way to re-seed a tournament in mid-stream. 

*  not listed on the Esku Pilota player pages at this time.

Groupe A

Peio Larralde-Bixintxo Bilbao; Agusti Waltary-Peio Guichandut; Mathieu Ospital-Baptiste Ducassou; Julien Etchegaray-Vincent Lazcano; Alexis Inchauspe-Anton Amulet; Philippe Bielle-Ximun Lambert

Groupe B:

Laurent.Lambert-Mickael Palomes; Vincent Elgart-Pascal de Ezcurra; Mattin Olcomendy*-Jean-Philippe Bennesse, Antton Monce-Cedric Lucu

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is pilota-ttiki.com. Thus far, most Pilota Ttiki match articles are incorporated into the Pelotelive.free.fr match pages. I will link to them, for ease of access when they are.

Week 1: March 3-4, 2017  ; Week 2: March 12-13 ; Week 3: March 18-19 ; Week 4: March 25, 27, 2017 ; Week 5: April 1-2, 2017 ; Week 6: April 7, 10 2017 ; April 14, 2017--Barrage

Semi-finals in both poules in this competition were played on April 21 and 22, 2017.

April 21, 2017

Trinquet Haitz Pean, Anglet (1)(2)(3)

Match preview article for both matches

Poule A:

Waltary-Guichandut (A4) defeated Ospital-Ducassou (A1) 40-36

Selected linescore (winners always listed first) (source: both match articles)

0-4; 12-12; 16-12; 20-14; 21-14: 24-14; 26-15; 28-16; 32-17; 32-20; 32-21; 34-24; 36-29; 38-32; 39-32; 39-36; 40-36

Poule B:

Aguirre (substituting for L. Lambert)-Palomes (B1) defeated Monce-Lucu (B4) 40-20

Selected linescore (winners always listed first) (source: both match articles)

26-12; 26-19; 38-19; 40-20

Match article for both matches

Match article for both matches, including an audio interview with Peio Guichandut (Esku Pilota)

Poule A:

This was the upset of the tournament, as O-D were undefeated in poule play (athough they were severely tested by W-G in March before winning 40-38.) According to the match article, a key moment occurred when Waltary scored consecutive winners from 21-14--24-14. It was part of a 16-4 (12-12--28-16) run which basically decided the match, They needed every bit of that cushion because O-D fought back tenaciously with a 19-8 run at the end (32-17--40-36), including 4 consecutive points when W-G had 39, to begin to put the match in doubt. In the end, W-G, who barely survived the Barrage match against L. Lambert-Palomes (B1) when Waltary took matters into his own powerful hands, now find themselves (4-3) and in the final against Larralde-Bilbao (A2--5-1). Both Bilbao and Waltary will be defending the championship that they won together last year. For O-D it was a disappointing end to a magnificent tournament. They finished 5-1.

Poule B:

L. Lambert's tournament ended due to an adductor injury.  He was replaced by Gregory Aguirre. A-P had little trouble with M-L, answering a 7-0 run with a 12-0 run of their own to secure the victory. Palomas' team remains undefeated in Poule B at 4-0. They will now face  Poule A 5th place team Inchauspe-Amulet in the Poule B final. Inchauspe-Amulet have an overall record of 2-4 (1-0 in Poule B).

April 22, 2017

Le Garat, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port  (1!)(2)

Match preview article

Poule A:

Larralde-Bilbao (A2) defeated Bielle-X. Lambert (A3) 40-25

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st) (source: both match articles)

4-4: 6-6; 7-7; 8-8; 13-8; 20-11; 25-14; 30-15; 39-21; 39-25; 40-35

Poule B:

Inchauspe-Amulet (A-5--B-2) defeated Elgart-De Ezcurra (B2--B3) 40-34

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st) (source: both match articles)

6-0; 18-10; 18-17; 20-19; 25-24; 26-25; 26-26; 34-28; 34-31; 35-33; 40-34

Match article for both matches along with a link to a condensed full match video of the Poule A match (also linked to directly below)

Match article for both matches, including an audio interview with Peio Larralde (Esku Pilota)

Condensed full match video of Larralde-Bilbao v Bielle-X. Lambert (Bixintxo Bilbao Youtube)

Poule A:

This match, according to both match articles (and corroborated by the match video), was not as easy as the final score indicated. It lasted around an hour and 15 minutes, with many long and hotly contested points, After an early 12-3 run that took their lead to 20-11, L-B slowly built the lead to 18. They faltered slightly at the end, as B-L made a 4 point run. Bilbao will be going for his 3rd consecutive CdF.

Poule B:

This hour and 20 minute battle had many ebbs and flows, but in the end, E-D could not recover from an early 8 point deficit. Every time they challenged, I-A met that challenge, finally pulling away with a 5 point run at the end. I-A hoped to be contending for a Groupe A championship this year, but a chance to defend their 2016 Groupe B championship is not the worst consolation.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pala--InnPala Rankings Update--April 20,.2017

Innpala has published a new ranking table as of April 20, 2017.  It includes the results of the  Mundial Parejas competition.

Delanteros (front) Zagueros (back)

Gaubeka 156 Ibai         198
Fusto      150    Ibargarai 138
Necol      120 Imanol     108
Zubiri       96 Gordon     105
Landeta    93 Brefel        96

Previous ranking

February 15, 2017

Delanteros (front) Zagueros (back)

Gaubeka  102 Ibai 132
Necol  84 Ibargarai108
Fusto  84 Gordon  63
Zubiri  66 Brefel  60
Landeta  51 Imanol  54

Rankings, along with explanation 

Mundial Parejas was a 3 diamond (***) tournament.

For the actual records of InnPala players since the season began on October 29, 2017 see the InnPala Player cumulative win-loss table and independent matches page on the right side of the blog.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Dania Beach Final Winter 2017 Season Standings--With a link to Win Sorts

The Dania Beach (1: Fronton after renovation)  (2: Fronton before renovation) Winter 2017 season began on January 2, 2017 and ended on April 15, 2017.

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

Final standings for the Dania Winter 2017 Season (.pdf format, 2p.)

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

Erik won the triple crown for the third consecutive season (not counting the 2016 Fall season, when there was no triple crown competition due to the Dania Team Competition--he led all winners in the team competition). He finished the 2017 Winter season with 134 wins, 25 more than 2nd place Leke. He won the championship singles with 26 wins, 6 more than 2nd place Aimar, and he won the championship doubles (front) with 31, 14 more than 2nd place Arrieta. In addition he won the most team wins-all games with 19 (with Urbieta), 7 more than any other team. He was the leading weekly winner 8 times, 3 more than 2nd place Leke. He had the most wins to lead a week with 13 (twice). His winning percentage was .257, the only player on the roster over .200. Leke was second with a .186 percentage. Erik also led the in the money percentage with .536, .90 points higher than Leke, who finished 2nd. Erik played 521 games, 15th most on the roster. Leke played the most games with 585.

Erik was the story of the Winter 2017 season any way you look at it. But another story is beginning to emerge. Leke, the 22 year old back court player, is becoming a factor on the Dania roster. For the second consecutive season he has finished runner up to Erik for most wins. And, after Erik dominated the Fall 2016 season weekly leaders (10, 8 more than 2nd place Diego), Leke emerged as a real challenger in that category this season. Leke is still mostly an early games player at Dania, but his progression has been very interesting to watch.

Dania now takes a short hiatus before a short Spring season that begins on May 2,

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

For current information about the progress of the Dania season, including a weekly breakdown of playing statistics, leading weekly winners, and a game by game chart of each week's winner,  see the Jai Alai: Dania Jai Alai weekly leaders page on the right side of the blog.

Mano: Eskuz Banakako Txapelketa-Campeonato Manomanista De Lep.M Competition Begins

Eskuz Banakako Txapelketa-Campeonato Manomanista De Lep.M, the premier professional Mano singles championship competition, began on April 14, 2017 and will end on May 28, 2017. It is a seeded ladder knockout tournament consisting of 4 1/16 round play in matches, followed by seeded 1/8 and Quarter-finals. Quarter final winners will play a Semi-final and Semi-final winners will play in the final. A third place match will be played on May 21, 2017.

Players seeded in at the 1/8 level: Artola, Rezusta, Olaizola II, and Ezkurdia.
Players seeded in at the Quarter-final level: Irribarria (defending champion), Altuna III, Bengoetxea VI, and Urrutikoetxea.

Asegarce Competition page  (choose any year back to 1999 next to the "seleciona la temporada") for complete score recap of every tournament).

ASPE Competition page

21iguales.com Competition page

21iguales Twitter feed live scoring page

List of previous winners going back to 1940 (Asegarce)

Available final match videos

1948 (Gallestegi 22 Atano III 6--highlights only) ;

1992 (Galarza III 22 Retegi II 12--added April 27, 2017) ; 1993 (Retegi II 22 Galarza III 19)1995 (Beloki 22 Errandonea 15); 1997 (Arretxe 22 Elkoro 18)

2000 (Eugi 22 Beloki 13)2001 (Beloki 22 Eugi 8) ; 2002 (Barriola 22 Beloki 3) ; 2003 (Patxi Ruiz 22 Olaizola II 7) ;  2004 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Xala 12) : 2005 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 18) ; 2006  (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Olaizola II 17) ; 2007 (Olaizola II 22 Barriola 10) ; 2008 (Bengoetxea VI 22 Barriola 11) ; 2009 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Olaizola II 12)

2010 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Xala 13--1:18:45) 2011 (Xala 22 Olaizola II 19) ; 2012 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 7) ;  2013 (Olaizola II 22 Mtz. de Irujo 7) ; 2014 (Mtz. de Irujo 22 Retegi BI 9--1:22:38) ;  2015 (Urrutikoetxea 22 Olaizola II 19) ; 2016 (Irribarria 22 Urrutikoetxea 13)

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Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is 21iguales.com. Source for all match video (highlights and full match video) unless otherwise specifically stated, is EITB).

Deciseis avos (1/16) de Final:

April 14, 2017

A. Politiportivo La Juventud, Soria (1)(2): Victor(d) defeated Untoria(z) 22-8

Match article with statistics and scoring

An early 12-1 run erased the only lead Untoria enjoyed and set the tone for an easy victory. Victor's ratio was +9, Untoria's was -5. Victor's next opponent is Rezusta. The victory made front court players (delanteros) 1-0 in the tournament, back courters (zagueros)  0-1.

Match highlights

Full match video

April 15, 2017

B. Labrit, Iruna (Pamplona) (1)(2): Laso(d) defeated Albisu(z) 22-19

Match article wth statistics and scoring

Unai Laso, at age 19 this year's youngest competitor, used a 14-7 run at the end of the match to overcome a 8-12 deficit and defeat Albisu. 17 of the 41 points were the result of errors. Laso's next opponent is Artola. Delanteros 2-0; Zagueros 0-2.

Match higlights

Full match video

April 16, 2017

C. Santi Brouard, Lekeitio (1)(2): Mendizabal III(d) defeated Zabaleta(z) 22-3

Match article with statistics and scoring

Mendizabal III scored the 1st 6 and last 14 points of the match to rout Zabaleta. Mendizabal III's next opponent will be Olaizola II. Delanteros 3-0; Zagueros 0-3

Match highlights

Full match video (match begins at 51:17 on the video)

April 17, 2017 

D. Astelena, Eibar (1)(2): Retegi BI(d) defeated Juanarena(z--changed from d in 2016) 22-15.

Match article with statistics and scoring

Retegi BI, coming off  a shoulder injury, used 5-0 runs at the beginning and in mid-match to win. Jaunarena was hurt by 10 errors. Retegi Bi's next opponent will be Ezkurdia. Delanteros 4-0; Zagueros 0-4.

I could not find any match highlights for this match.

Full match video (match begins at 37:44 on the video)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Two "Editorials" on the future of Jai Alai.

The recent re-opening of Fronton Mexico has led to the publication of many articles about various aspects of the new Jai Alai/Cesta Punta development. Most of them deal with the cultural or sporting aspects. Recently a print and video article have been released that attempt to address possible futures of the sport. Both of the articles have a definite point of view, some might say contrasting points of view. Whatever your point of view, there is food for thought in each. Both articles are in English.

A. The Death and Resurrection of the Old Game of Jai-Alai, by Juan Ignacio Zulaika (Basque Tribune, April 17, 2017)

B. Jai Alai 101 (The New Tropic, April 14, 2017). Running time: 1 minute 50 seconds.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Main Nue: FFPB CDC Elite Pro par Equipe--Barrage--April 14, 2017

The Main Nue Elite Pro par Equipe (pairs) Championnat de France A and B competition is sponsored by the  Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB). The competition began on March 3, 2017 and ends on May 7, 2017. You can follow its progress here (link to "resultats" from the FFPB home  page).  Pelotelive.free.fr also provides A and B coverage. The tournaments have a "poule" phase, a single round robin, followed by a playoff system that is explained below. It turns out not to be quite as byzantine as I thought. :) It is a very interesting way to re-seed a tournament in mid-stream. The B knockout phase (see below) looks to be a very interesting proposition. The A phase could provide a surprise or two as well.

*  not listed on the Esku Pilota player pages at this time.

Groupe A

Peio Larralde-Bixintxo Bilbao; Agusti Waltary-Peio Guichandut; Mathieu Ospital-Baptiste Ducassou; Julien Etchegaray-Vincent Lazcano; Alexis Inchauspe-Anton Amulet; Philippe Bielle-Ximun Lambert

Groupe B:

Laurent.Lambert-Mickael Palomes; Vincent Elgart-Pascal de Ezcurra; Mattin Olcomendy*-Jean-Philippe Bennesse, Antton Monce-Cedric Lucu

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is pilota-ttiki.com. Thus far, most Pilota Ttiki match articles are incorporated into the Pelotelive.free.fr match pages. I will link to them, for ease of access when they are.

Week 1: March 3-4, 2017  ;  Week 2: March 12-13Week 3: March 18-19 ; Week 4: March 25, 27, 2017 ; Week5: April 1-2, 2017; Week 6: April 7, 10 2017

April 14, 2017

Barrage

Match preview article

Waltary-Guichandut (Poule A--4) defeated L. Lambert-Palomes (Poule B--1) 40-36

Match article

Match video (35-34--40-36) (Esku Pilota Youtube)

Selected linescore (winning team always listed 1st) (source: match article and, for the final points, match video)

3-3; 7-7; 8-8; 9-9; 17-20; 23-24; 23-28; 28-28; 35-30; 35-35;

Key: server; number of balls in play; score (winner listed first); player + (winner), +a (service ace) - (error) (judgments are mine, yours may be different.
'
L; 3; 35-35; L+
L; 1; 35-36; L+a
L; 18; 36-36; W+ (back dugout)
W; 15; 37-36 G+ (filet)
W; 1; 38-36 W+a
W; 5; 39-36; W+ (filet)
W; 1; 40-36 W+a

Salient scoring statistics: L. Lambert 10 service aces; Waltary 9 service aces.

As befits a great match, this one ended with 7 consecutive winners and some of the finest shot making you'll see. W-G, on the verge of being demoted to the "B" poule tournament, scored the last 5 points of the match with almost perfect shot making. L-P were in the "driver's seat" at 23-28, but a crucial 12-2 run by W-G put them ahead. Then L-P came back, led by a great service game from Lambert. In the end, though, Waltary was too powerful and precise, Guichandut too precise. The victory means that the two semi-finals in each Poule will look like this.

Anglet, April 21, 2017

B: L. Lambert-Palomes (B1) v Monce-Lucu (B4)
A. Ospital-Ducassou  (A1)  v Waltary-Guichandut (A4)

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, April 22, 2017

B. Inchauspe-Amulet (A5) v Elgart-De Ezcurra (B2)
A. Larralde-Bilbao (A2) v Bielle-X. Lambert (A3)

All of the higher seeds have defeated their opponents in the Poule phase. The most intriguing match could be Larralde-Bilbao v Bielle-X. Lambert. B-L have won three in a row and are playing great Main Nue at the moment.

For cumulative records of Main Nue elite professionals see the "Cumulative records of EP players" on the recurring results page on the right side of the blog.

For match videos of other FFPB CdF matches see the FFPB CdF 2016-17 National A and B Videos page on the right side of the blog. Four of Larrald-Bilbao's Poule matches (condensed full match videos, about 1/2 hour apiece) are available.

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--El Pais Feature Article on Fronton Mexico

El Pais has published a lengthy feature article on the re-opening of Fronton Mexico. The article discusses the history of the fronton, and contains short interviews with ex-pilotaris who played in the "golden age" (about 1930-1960). It also discusses the significance of the re-opening of the fronton. But perhaps the highlight of the piece is the 6 minute 45 second video that accompanies it. The video is built around a "B" match between Aaron-Ituarte and Ochoa-Perez that took place April 1. Google Translate will do a good job for the print story. The video is a case of "a picture being worth a thousand words" and is understandable in any language.

Los guardianes del Frontón México, by Almudena Barragan



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mano: XXVI Xabier Goniren Omenezkoa Finals

The finals of the XXVI Xabier Goniren Memorial Tournament were held on April 12, 2017. They featured two finals, a 4 1/2 singles final and a doubles final. If you recognize some of the players below, it is because we have seen them before. The footnotes next to their names will link you to other tournament finals they have played in that have been covered in the blog. All have links to other full match videos. The two contestants in the 4 1/2 final are among the best young amateur players in the Basque Country.

Beloki, Zumarraga  (1)(2)(3)

4 1/2 Final:

Aranguren (blue) (1)(2defeated Alberdi (red) (1) 22-20.

Doubles final:

Salaberria (1)(2)-Gorrotxategi (blue) (1) defeated Urbieta (1)-Olaizola III (red) 22-5.

Full match video for both matches (4 1/2 match: 0:00--58 minutes 25 seconds, doubles final 58:26--1:40:14 on the video).

Match article, with linescore and selected statistics, for both matches (Diario 
Vasco--Castilian)

35 photos (Diario Vasco)

The match article described the 4 1/2 final as being a hotly contested one, with Alberdi twisting his ankle at 18-18 but finishing the match. The second match featured the mastery of Salaberria-Gortxategi.

Match article for the 4/12 match (Urola Kostako Hiza--Basque)

The day's festivities concluded with a very nice awards ceremony.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Aritz' Streak of Most Weekly Wins Ends at Eight

Aritz Erkiaga has been doing something pretty special at Miami Jai Alai this season. With the season just past the half-way point, he has a chance for an unheard of 300 victories. While that is only a remote possibility, he has a realistic chance at 250. To give that number some context, last season, which ran from July 1-December 31, 2016, Aritz had the most wins at Miami with 214. The season before that (ended June 30, 2016), Eric Irastorza had the most wins with 205.

At the heart of this projected win total was a period from February 13-April 3, 2017. Aritz either led outright (7 weeks) or shared the lead (1 week) for 8 consecutive weeks with win totals of 11, 15, 15, 15, 10, 19, 17, and 12. During that time he had two performance streaks of 24 and then 25 consecutive performances with at least 1 win. The streaks were separated by 1 performance where he did not win, meaning he won in 49 of 50 performances. This is astonishing.

For the week ending April 10, Aritz did not win the most games. By now, that is almost as astonishing as the eight weeks he did win. But the real story, a story that is hard to believe, is who did win the most games.

Aizarna, a 35 year old long time veteran front court man, had 11 wins this week. Aritz had 10. Aizarna, according to Tiger of Tiger's Chalk Talk Discussion Board (who produces weekly statistics for the Board), has not been a weekly leader for over 5 years.

Aizarna is a journeyman who comes to work every day and plays his games. He's the kind of player that is needed to put on 12 quiniela games a day for 6 days a week. Doubles matches require 16 players, singles matches require 8. Aizarna does not win much but he plays a lot. As of April 10, Aizarna had played 442 games this season (compared to Aritz' 497). Aizarna had won 28 games as of April 10,

But Aizarna had a great week by any standard. At the heart of that great week were two performances where he won 4 games, for a little less than 80% of  his total wins. And that is not an easy thing to do. Going into the last day of the Miami week  Aizarna had 10 wins to Aritz' 8. Aizarna played in the early games, Aritz the late games that day. Aizarna finished his week with 1 win, so Aritz needed to win 3 times in his 5 games to tie for the lead and keep his weekly leader streak alive. He needed 4 to win the weekly leader outright. A tall order, but during the last eight weeks Aritz has won more than 3 games in a performance 19 times. This time he came up short. He won only 2, and so Aizarna was the weekly leader for the week ending April 10. And Aritz' 8 week leader streak came to an end.

One of the fans of Miami Jai Alai created a video of the 4th game of the April 9 performance. The video is of high quality. The 4th game is a grueling 9 point game (most Miami games are played to 7 points). It is interesting in that Aritz and his partner Spinner played head to head against Aizarna and his partner Santiso. Aizarna is in the 6 Post and Aritz is in the 8. Neither of them won this game. When you are having the kind of season Aritz is having, you don't make many mistakes. But he did make one in this game (7:36--7:42 on the video). It was a dropped catch, the kind of error that is almost inevitable during the hundreds of games professional quiniela jai alai players play. A momentary lapse in concentration. The way the game turned out, Aritz had another chance, but his team was beaten in a matchup by a winner from another player after a point that consumed 14 balls in play. He ended up 2nd in this game. For the game, by my count, he had 3 winners and 1 error. Would he have won had he not erred? And what would the weekly standings have looked like if he had? We don't know. But that simple error highlights as much as anything just how amazingly well Aritz has been playing this season. The quiniela form harshly punishes errors. Aritz is the one who has been doing the punishing at Miami. Aizarna had a pretty good game too, with 2 winners. And by the end of the week, an incredible streak had been broken by a player who had a great week of his own.

MY ARTICLE: Miami Jai Alai April 9, Game 4--complete enhanced linescore

For more information on each weekly wins leader at Miami Jai Alai see the Maimi Jai Alai weekly leaders page on the right side of the blog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Main Nue: FFPB CDC Elite Pro par Equipe--Week 6-April 7, 10, 2017

The Main Nue Elite Pro par Equipe (pairs) Championnat de France A and B competition is sponsored by the  Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB). The competition began on March 3, 2017 and ends on May 7, 2017. You can follow its progress here (link to "resultats" from the FFPB home  page).  Pelotelive.free.fr also provides A and B coverage. The tournaments have a "poule" phase, a single round robin, followed by a playoff system that is explained below. It turns out not to be quite as byzantine as I thought. :) It is a very interesting way to re-seed a tournament in mid-stream. The B knockout phase (see below) looks to be a very interesting proposition. The A phase could provide a surprise or two as well.

*  not listed on the Esku Pilota player pages at this time.

Groupe A

Peio Larralde-Bixintxo Bilbao; Agusti Waltary-Peio Guichandut; Mathieu Ospital-Baptiste Ducassou; Julien Etchegaray-Vincent Lazcano; Alexis Inchauspe-Anton Amulet; Philippe Bielle-Ximun Lambert

Groupe B:

Laurent.Lambert-Mickael Palomes; Vincent Elgart-Pascal de Ezcurra; Mattin Olcomendy*-Jean-Philippe Bennesse, Antton Monce-Cedric Lucu

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is pilota-ttiki.com. Thus far, most Pilota Ttiki match articles are incorporated into the Pelotelive.free.fr match pages. I will link to them, for ease of access when they are.

Week 1: March 3-4, 2017  ;  Week 2: March 12-13Week 3: March 18-19 ; Week 4: March 25, 27, 2017 ; Week5: April 1-2, 2017

Week 6: April 7, 10 2017

April 7, 2017

Pau (1)(2)

Preview article 

A13: Larralde-Bilbao defeated Waltary-Guichandut 40-31

Condensed linescore (winners always listed 1st) (source: the two match videos)

4-0; 4-1; 6-1; 6-2; 7-2; 7-8; 9-8; 9-9; 10-9; 10-13; 11-13; 11-17; 12-17; 12-18; 20-18; 20-19; 21-19; 21-20; 22-20; 22-21; 23-21; 23-25; 30-25; 30-26; 35-26; 35-28; 36-28; 36-30; 38-30; 38-31; 40-31 (condensed linescore replaces selected linescore given at match article--change made Apr. 15, 2017).

Match article with link to condensed full match  video

This video also available at Bixintxo Bilbao Youtube Page and at Tout sur la Pelote Basque Youtube (TPB is mostly condensed, there are a few points missing. Camera angle is different and the score is called out on almost every point). (TPB link added April 15, 2017).

Bilbao returned from achilles tendon tendonitis that kept him out of last weeks match against Ospital-Ducassou. This match was very close  through 25-25. Indeed, in the early part of the match W-G were dominating. Once the two teams reached equality at 25, Larralde took over. He overwhelmed W-G with 8 service aces, including 3 in a row that completely defeated Guichandut and pretty much put the match out of reach at 35-26. L-B finish the Poule phase in 2nd place in the A Groupe with a 4-1 record, their only defeat coming at the hands of Ospital-Ducassou. Waltary-Guichandut finished 4th at 2-3. They will face B Groupe winners L. Lambert-Palomes in a "Barrage" match on April 14. The winner moves on to the Semi-finals of the A Groupe. The loser moves on to the Semi-finals of the B Groupe.

April 10, 2017

Le Garat, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port  (1!)(2)

Preview article for both matches

A14: Ospital-Ducassou defeated Inchauspe-Amulet 40-15

Selected linescore (Garat Lundi "remarkable points") (winners always listed 1st).

3-1; 5-1; 16-5; 17-5; 20-9; 37-13

Selected match statistics (Jean Baptiste Garat)

Service aces: Ospital 3 Inchauspe 2
Filet points: O-D 6 I-A 1
Time of the match: 57 minutes

A15: Bielle-X. Lambert defeated Etchegaray-Lazcano 40-31

Selected linescore (Garat Lundi "remarkable points") (winners always listed 1st)

11-3; 13-6; 20-9; 23-14; 25-14; 32-18

Selected match statistics (Jean Baptiste Garat)

Service aces: Bielle 13 Etchegaray 7
Filet points: B-L 4 E-l 5
Time of the match: 1 hour 24 minutes

Match article for both matches

The match article did not discuss the specifics either match, but spent most of its time going through the thickets of the matchups for the knockout stage of the tournament. Le Garat Lundi page was succinct in its match analysis:

O-A v I-A

Domination des favoris Ospital et Ducassou
Inchauspe et Amulet ont laissé trop d'espaces à leurs adversaires.

Google English translation:

Domination of favorites Ospital and Ducassou
Inchauspe and Amulet have left too many spaces for their opponents.

B-L v E-L

Belle empoignade, Bielle et X. Lambert ont dominé.
Merci à Etchegaray et Lazcano pour le beau final!

Google English translation:

Nice punching, Bielle and X. Lambert dominated.
Thanks to Etchegaray and Lazcano for the beautiful finale!

O-D finished a perfect 5-0 in the Poule phase. This was Ducassou's 10th consecutive victory overall in 2017 . Ospital-Ducassou await the winner of the Barrage match between Group B winner L. Lambert-Palomes and Group A 4th place finishers Waltary-Guichandut. I-A finished 1-4, 5th in Poule A, and will become the 2nd place Semi-finalists in Group B. Their first knockout match will be against actual 2nd place Groupe B finisher but now moved to "3rd place" Elgart-de Ezcurra.

B-L had a more difficult time of it, but won comfortably to finish in 3rd place in Groupe A with a 3-2 record. They have won 3 in a row and could be dangerous in the knockout stage. Their Semi-final opponents will be Larralde-Bilbao, 2nd place finisher in Groupe A. E-L finished at the foot of the Poule A table and have been eliminated.

Final Poule Tables: (Source Pilota Ttiki and Pelotelive.free.fr)

Key: Team; wins-defeats; point differential (actual points scored is available from the Pelotelive.free.fr tournament links above).

Poule A

Ospital-Ducassou.......5-0...63
Larralde-Bilbao..........4-1...53
Bielle-X. Lambert......3-2...25
Waltary-Guichandut...2-3....-5
Inchauspe-Amulet......1-4...-61
Etchegary--Lazcano...0-5...-75

All Semi-finals will be played April 21-22, 2017 at Anglet and Saint Jean Pied de Port respectively. An A and B Semi-final will be played at each venue. Who will be playing when and where is undetermined at present.

A Semi-finals

Ospital-Ducassou v winner of Barrage (play-in) match between Waltary-Guichandut and Groupe B winner L. Lambert-Palomes (to be played at Arcangues April 14).

Larralde-Bilbao v Bielle-X. Lambert.

Poule B

L. Lambert-Palomes.......3-0...16
Elgart-De Ezcurra...........1-2...13
Monce-Lucu....................1-2...-6
Olcomendy-Benesse........1-2..-23

Loser of L. Lambert-Palomes v Groupe A 4th place finisher Waltary-Guichandut match v Monce-Lucu

Inchauspe-Amulet (5th place finisher in Group A) v Elgart-De Ezcurra

For cumulative records of Main Nue elite professionals see the "Cumulative records of EP players" on the recurring results page on the right side of the blog.

For match videos of other FFPB CdF matches see the FFPB CdF 2016-17 National A and B Videos page on the right side of the blog. Four of Larrald-Bilbao's Poule matches (condensed full match videos, about 1/2 hour apiece) are available.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Remonte: ANNOUNCING A NEW RECURRING RESULTS PAGE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLOG

A new "page" has been started on the right side of the blog. Euskal Jai Berri, sponsors several short court tournaments, along with an independent circuit, which will take the sport into 10 cities this summer, We will keep track of EJB matches at the Euskal Jai Berri recurring results page. You can use this page to complement the already existing Galarreta Star Match recurring results page, also on the right side of the blog. In this way you can get a more complete picture of players on the Oriamendi 2010 roster, tracking both long and short court results.

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta: Fronton Mexico Announces Changes in Scheduling

Fronton Mexico has announced a change in scheduling. Beginning immediately the Tuesday session will be dropped and replaced by a Friday session. Thursday-Saturday sessions will begin at 19:30. Sunday sessions will begin at 18:00, except for this Sunday, April 16, which will consist of only 2 partidos and 1 quiniela due to the Easter holiday. That session will begin at 19:00.

Article announcing the change (www.pitlane.mx) According to the article, the management feels that Fridays are better for "así que ahora se eliminará la función de los martes y se agrega la de los viernes, que por nuestra experiencia es el mejor día para presentar a los pelotaris al público aficionado y a quienes van en busca de la apuesta." (Google Translate English): "Tuesdays (will be dropped) and Friday is added, which for our experience is the best day to present the pelotaris to the amateur public and those who are looking for the bet."

This week's (April 13-16) Schedule

Note that this week also offers an interesting 3 v 2 Star Match on Saturday, April 15. Egiguren-Lopez v Laduche-Christophe-Etxeto.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mano--Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas--2016-17 Final

Binakako Txapelketako/Campionato Parejas, the premier doubles competition of the 2016-2017 Mano season, began December 2, 2016. 8 teams competed for the title. The first (league) phase was a double round robin (14 matches). The top 4 finishers will faced off in a single round robin (3 matches). The two winners played 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 en 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;  Week 4;  Week 5;  Week 6;  Week 7Week 8 ; Week 9 ; Week 10;  Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14--End of the Quarter-final League phaseSemi-Final League--Jornada 1Semi-Final League--Jornada 2 ; Semi-Final League--Journada 3

Table of the 4 teams that advance to the Semi-final League.

Key: Team, match record, point differential, winning-losing streak going into the Semi-final League.

Irribarria-Rezusta: 12-2, +79,  +5
Elezkano-Zabeleta 7-7, +41  +1
Oliazola II-Untoria 7-7, +10 +2
Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe 7-7 -12, -1

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

April 9, 2017

Final

Bizkaia, Bilbo (Bilbao) (1)(2)

Irribarria-Rezusta defeated Bengoetxea VI-Larunbe 22-14

Full linescore: (winners always listed 1st)

0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 2-3; 3-3; 4-3; 4-4; 4-5; 5-5; 5-6; 6-6; 7-6; 8-6; 9-6; 10-6; 11-6; 11-7; 12-7; 12-8; 12-9; 13-9; 13-10; 13-11; 13-12; 14-12; 15-12; 16-12; 16-13; 17-13; 18-13; 19-13; 20-13; 21-13; 21-14; 22-14

Scoring (EITB)

Irribarria +4 -4 Rezusta +0 -2
Bengoetxea VI +7 -3 Larunbe +1 -15

Balls in play: 442: Irribarria 106 Rezusta 119; Bengoetxea VI 84 Larunbe 133

Number of balls in play: Number of points (my counts)

0-9: 18
10-19: 13
20-29: 2
30-39: 1
40-49: 1
50+: 1
Longest point: 59 (13-11--13-12).

Match highlights

The final point

The champions celebrate with friends and family

Match highlights (21iguales.com) parts of 12 points including the final point.

Full match video (changed the link April 13, 2017 from the original EITB final link to EITB Finals link that only has the final match on it. It is also more likely to be archived at this link.

Full match video (Fronton.tv--Castilian) (Scroll to: "Bilbao - 09/04/2017"). Note: this is on the first page of videos at present. Eventually it will be moved to higher numbered pages when it has been moved. (Added April 19, 2017).

Match article including match statistics and linescore

Other match articles:

Deia

Diario Vasco

DV photo gallery (39 photos)

mundodiportivo.com

El Correo

Feature articles (from various points of view):

Deia: Botilleros (1)(2); Other: (1)(2)(3)

Diario Vasco: (1)

I-R capped a brilliant 16-2 Mundo Parejas with their 9th consecutive victory, easily defeating B-L, the only team that had beaten them, 22-14. You can read all the articles describing how I-R used a simple and brutal strategy: keep the ball away from the explosive Bengoetxea VI, who had great matches against Jaka-Zabaleta and Olaizola II-Untoria to get to this final. And the best way to keep Bengoetxea VI away from the ball was to make Larunbe hit it as often as possible. The balls in play breakdown by player is extremely instructive in demonstrating how this strategy was successfully executed. And finally, inevitably, like most of the other back court players who faced I-R in this competition, he cracked under the pressure, erring on I-R's last 5 points, for a total of anywhere from 11 to 15 errors, depending on the scoring source. Irribarria's relentless power and Rezusta's steady defensive presence (he won the "most valuable" player award for the tournament) were an unbeatable combination.

Even in defeat, no one can accuse B-L of anything short of tenacity. The final 3 points of a match they were behind by 7 points consumed, by my count, 21, 18, and 32 balls in play. However, for me the greatest symbol of I-R's domination of the entire competition came very early: from the point beginning at 1-1 to the point ending at 3-3 (1:14:05--1:18:11 on the video). The two point lead that B-L fought for 35 grueling balls in play to achieve was gone after 7 balls in play over the next two points.

For Irribarria the potential for greatness seems unlimited. Rezusta has now played in two consecutive finals (he played with Mtz. de Irujo last year), and seems to be the best back court player in professional Mano at the moment (because the one player that could contest that did not play in the back court in this competition). I-R will most likely be on different teams next year and it will be interesting to see how Rezusta handles the bombs that come from Irribarria's steam shovel of a left hand. In only 8 months, we will begin to find out.

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Fronton Jai Alai TV Special Edition--Fronton Mexico.

The April 7, 2017 edition of Fronton Jai Alai TV, produced by Quintana Roo (Cancun), Mexico's Canal 10, is a special edition spotlighting the newly re-opened Fronton Mexico. Presenter Javier Eguia Berestain and panelist Jose Marie Fernandez Urquiaga host the show. This show is built around extended highlights from the March 26, 2017 FM Star Match between Olha-Irastorza and Egiguren-Inza. It includes interviews with newly signed young Basque players Julien Del Rio, Aaron Gonzalez, and Ekhi Martnez (Del Rio and Ekhi have already played in Star matches), Mexican players Gustavo Lopez and Gonzalo Sierra (Sierra has also played in a Star match), and the ball and cesta maker. There is also an interview with Intendente Pedro Andrinua. The show is in Spanish and runs a little over an hour and 20 minutes. It is available on demand via the following outlets:

Canal 10 Web Page

Canal 10 Youtube

Vimeo

Archived shows going back to October 15, 2016 are available at each site.

For more information about Fronton Mexico Star Matches see the Fronton Mexico recurring results page on the right side of the blog.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pala--Sestao welcomes Ibai Perez Home With a Festival

Sestao welcomed home Ibai Perez after he won his 3rd  Championship this season, the Mundial Parejas, (along with the earlier La Liga and Mudial Individual)  The festival was held on April 7, 2017 at Las Llanes, and featured two amateur matches preceding the main event: a match between Gaubeka-Ibai Perez and Necol-Imanol. That match was won by Necol-Imanol 3-2. (Source: Iosu Urkijo).

For more on the festival see the InnPala Facebook Page post. Also see the related article in Deia.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--A Glimpse of Aritz

If you have been following this blog, you know that on the right side of the blog, at the top, is a list of "10 + winning streaks". At present, and for every day but one (March 8, 2017) since February 8, Aritz Erkiaga, who plays the front court on the "A" roster at Miami Jai Alai, has been on that list. He had a streak of 24 performances (sessions of 12 games in which a player has a minimum workload of 5 games) with at least 1 win that was broken on March 8. The next day he started another streak that, as of this posting (April 6) has reached 24. He  has had at least 1 win in 48 of his last 49 performances (He did not play on March 3). Within each streak he had a streak of multiple wins (16, also stopped on March 8, and 11, stopped on March 24). In January he had a performance streak (at least 1 victory) of  14.

Miami Jai Alai plays Quiniela Jai Alai in two 6 month seasons per year. They play 6 performances a week, one each day except Tuesday. Because the context of this sport is wagering, each player plays a combination of singles and doubles games against seven other players (or teams). Players commonly play more than their minimum workload. They often play 6 to 8 games a day. 9 games is not unheard of. Humans scratch, just like horses do, and must be replaced for the games to go on. Doubles partners constantly change, as do post positions (order of matchups, 1-8). Both of these variables complicate wagering and make it more difficult for players to win consistently. The nature of Quiniela Jai Alai also makes it difficult to win. One team plays another. The winner scores a point (or two) and keeps playing. The loser goes to the back of the line and has to wait 7 matchups to play again. There is no time to get into a rhythm and no margin for error. It is a very different sport from the partido Jai Alai now being played at Fronton Mexico or the Jai Alai that was played in last summers' partido season in the North and South Basque Country.

I say all this as a way of contextualizing Aritz' streaks. No one else this season at Miami (or Dania Beach for that matter) has come close to one of these streaks, much less two.

Unfortunately, we cannot watch Aritz play via free live streaming.. We can only go by the spartan result sheets and statistics pages Miami Jai Alai releases every day.

That situation was remedied for a few games last week, by a fan who took some video of Aritz during the April 2, 2017 performance. Available on the video is a condensed video of Aritz-Ubilla's 3rd game "perfect game" (a game where one team wins between 4 and 9 points in a row, depending on the length of the game and the post position of the players).  There is also selected video of some of Aritz' other games that day. The 3rd game win was his only win of the day. He played in 4 other games with two other partners (one singles game) and had 1 second and 1 third place finish in those matches. Watch the player with the number 36 on his back. You will see him in a different color shirt in different games. Colors are coordinated with post positions.Watch and marvel at a player who is playing this game about as well as it is possible to play.

Aritz (36)--Maimi Jai Alai--April 2, 2017

For a statistical and "win chart" breakdown of Aritz' last 8 weeks, going back to the week ending February 13, all of which he led or tied for the lead for most wins for the week, see the Miami Jai Alai weekly leaders page on the right side of the blog.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pala--2017 Mundo Parejas--Final and 3rd Place Matches

Mundial Parejas, the premier long court Pala Tournament, began February 17-18, 2017. It ended April 1, 2017. The tournament, sponsored by Munduko Pilota Batzarra (World Pilota Council) was set up in a unique way. In each round the partnerships changed. It featured 8 InnPala professionals, 4 front court (delanteros) and 4 back (zagueros). The tournament was played as a double round robin, with each player pairing with 3 others in each round, for a total of 6 matches.  At the end of the competition the top two delanteros paired up with the top two zagueros and played in a final. There was also a 3rd place match. The scoring for the tournament was based completely on joko (set) scores: 3-0=100pts, 3-1=80pts, 3-2=60pts, 2-3=40pts, 1-3=20pts, 0-3=0pts. The scoring system emphasized the importance of every joko, no matter what the situation of any match.

All matches were played at Mungia, (1)(2) the "Cathedral" of long court Pala (Pala Larga (1)(2)).

Complete tournament information (.pdf format, 11p), including match schedule and partnerships, rules of the tournament, and a listing of past winners going back to 2007. (Source: Munduko Pilota Batzarra).

Player table and information  (Source: Munduko Pilota Batzarra). Note: the "dossier" link on this page connects to the above tournament information pamphlet.

InnPala Tournament page

Preview article: (mundodeportivo.com)

Preview article: (Deia)

2016 Final full match video: Fusto-Brefel defeated Gaubeka-Imanol 3-2 (10-8, 8-10, 10-6, 7-10, 10-7) (EITB). For those who are unfamiliar with the traditional long court game, this is a great example of it. For those who know and love the form, last year's final was, quite simply, a superb match.

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Pre-Tournament qualifying round--February 17-18 ; Jornada 1: February 24, 2017 ; Jornada 2: March 3, 2017 (J2 links to full match video of both matches); Jornada 3 and 4 Jornada 5: March 17, 2017 ; Jornada 6: March 24, 2017; Final and 3rd Place Match: April 1, 2017 (Final and 3rd place links to full match videos of both matches).

Note: Source for all article links, unless otherwise specifically stated, is Munduko Pilota Batzarra (World Pilota Council). Usually MPB match articles are presented in both Basque and Castilian, using the same link. The articles appear first in Basque, and then below that in Castilian.

Individual joko scores source: InnPala Twitter feed, EITB, or Deia.

April 1, 2017

Mungia, (1)(2)

Final:

Fusto-Ibai Perez defeated Gaubeka-Imanol 3-2 (4-10, 9-10, 10-8, 10-8, 10-8) (43-44)

Video: final point and closing ceremony (EITB)

Full match video (EITB)

Preview article (Deia)

Match article (Deia)

Match article (mundodeportivo.com)

Match article (Munduko Pilota Batzarra)

Individual Joko Linescores (winners always listed 1st) (EITB)

J1: 0-1; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 4-2; 4-3; 4-4; 4-5; 4-6; 4-7; 4-8; 4-9; 4-10 (0-1) (121 balls in play)

J2: 0-1; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 2-3; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 6-6; 7-6; 7-7; 8-7; 8-8; 9-8; 9-9; 9-10 (0-2)  (184 bip)

J3: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 3-1; 3-2; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 7-5; 8-5; 9-5; 9-6; 9-7; 9-8; 10-8 (1-2) (146 bip)

J4: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 3-3; 3-4; 4-4; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 6-6; 7-6; 8-6; 8-7; 9-7; 9-8; 10-8 (2-2) (110 bip)

J5: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 2-5; 2-6; 3-6; 4-6; 5-6; 5-7; 5-8; 6-8 (F+); 7-8(F+); 8-8(F+); 9-8(IP service ace); 10-8(F+) (3-2) (177 bip)

Total balls in play (my count) 738.

balls in play: number of points

0-9: 54
10-19: 24
20-29: 8
41: 1

Scoring (Deia)

Fusto +18 -11; Ibai Perez +7 (including 4 service aces) -6 (including 1 service fault)

Gaubeka +16 -5; Imanol +11 (including 6 service aces) -12 (including 4 service faults)

Time of the match 1 hour and 27 minutes.

After last year's scintillating Final (scroll to the "Pala" painting), a 5 set battle that consumed over 550 balls in play and was not decided until the last 3 points of the last joko, one could have only hoped for something nearly as intense in this year's final. Well, we got more than we hoped for. Another 5 set battle with 3 of the same contestants (Ibai Perez replacing Brefel as Fusto's partner was the only change); a match in which 87 of a possible 95 points were contested (1 more than last year); a match which consumed (by my count) 738 balls in play as opposed to last year's 564 (EITB) and lasted nearly an hour and a half; a match in which 4 of the 5 jokos were decided by 2 points or less; a match in which 33 points consumed 10 or more balls in play, and 9 consumed more than 20 (compared to last year's 19 and 3 points respectively), and so on. It was a better match than last year's final, in my opinion, but watch them both and you will see some of the finest Pala you'll ever see.

At the heart of it all was Fusto. Ably supported by Ibai Perez (who has now won all three major Pala championships this season), Fusto simply would not be beaten "down the stretch." Down 5-8 in the last joko (beginning at 1:25:55 on the match video) he scored with a beautiful low left wall shot to end a 24 ball point, a two wall to the inside shot from the apron, a low and outside smash that was "too hot" for Gaubeka to handle to end a 21 ball point, and a high perfectly placed shot that Imanol couldn't quite get to. It was great play from a great player at the most important moment in the match. Fusto at his best, in my opinion.

The final joko was a microcosm of the whole match. It was dominated by G-I early, then brought back almost to equality, followed by a spurt by G-I that almost won the match, followed by the fireworks at the end. After G-I dominated the 1st joko with an 8-0 run to win 10-4 (successfully keeping Ibai Perez as far back as possible), and fought back from 8-9 to win the second joko, it seemed like this match was over. But over the course of the next two jokos, G-I found themselves in the lead only once over the course of 36 very hard fought points. During those 36 points, the biggest lead established was 4, once.

Everyone played well and the large crowd was "into" the match from start to finish. If you could see just one Pala match, this might be it. Both Fusto and Ibai Perez finished this tournament with 5 match wins and 2 losses. Both Gaubeka and Imanol finished at 4-3. Fusto won his 5th championship in this tournament and his 3rd in succession. It was Ibai Perez' 1st.

Third place match

Landeta-Gordon defeated Necol-Brefel  3-2 (10-6, 4-10, 6-10, 10-5, 10-9) (40-40)

Full match video (EITB) Match begins at 1:41:42 on the video.

Individual Joko Linescores (winners always listed 1st) (EITB)

J1: 1-0; 2-0; 2-1; 3-1; 4-1; 5-1; 6-1; 7-1; 8-1; 8-2; 8-3; 8-4; 9-4; 9-5; 9-6; 10-6 (1-0) (79 balls in play)

J2: 0-1; 0-2; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 2-5; 3-5; 3-6; 4-6; 4-7; 4-8; 4-9; 4-10 (1-1) (60 bip)

J3: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 2-3; 2-4; 3-4; 3-5; 3-6; 4-6; 5-6; 5-7; 6-7; 6-8; 6-9; 6-10 (1-2) (99 bip)

J4: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 1-5; 2-5; 3-5; 4-5; 5-5; 6-5; 7-5; 8-5; 9-5; 10-5; (2-2) (120 bip)

J5: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 4-2; 5-2; 5-3; 5-4; 5-5; 5-6; 6-6; 6-7; 6-8; 7-8; 8-8; 9-8; 9-9; 10-9 (3-2) (122 bip)

480 balls in play

0-9: 66
10-19: 12
20-29: 2
Longest point: 26

Scoring (my judgments, yours may be different). Any serve not returned was considered a service ace. 3 Brefel  service aces appeared to me to be return errors (2 by Gordon and 1 by Landeta). 2 Gordon service aces appeared to me to be return errors (both by Brefel).

Landeta +11 -6; Gordon +10 (including 3 service aces) -7 (including 3 service faults)

Necol +17 -11; Brefel +10 (including 6 service aces);  -8

Brefel had the only 2 back wall rebotes in the match.

Time of the match: 1:02:42

This match was one that was dominated at different times by both teams. Then came the final joko. Each team seemed to pick up its intensity.  At 8-6 N-B were almost home, but three great winners by Gordon and a beautiful smash by Landeta that Necol couldn't quite handle, sandwiched around a powerful Necol winner, gave both Landeta and Gordon their first win against 6 losses in the tournament. Both Necol and Brefel finished 4-3.

All in all, it was a wonderful day's play to end this traditional long court tournament.

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Final League Table:

Key: Player, W-win, L-loss, Joko Scores, Tournament points, Match record

Delanteros (Front Court)

Gaubeka (3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-0, 2-3), 400 pts, 4-2
Fusto   (3-0, 3-0, 0-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2), 380 pts, 4-2
Necol   (0-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2, 0-3, 3-2), 320 pts, 4-2
Landeta (0-3, 0-3, 0-3, 2-3, 1-3, 2-3), 100 pts, 0-6

Zagueros (Back Court)

Imanol     (3-0, 3-0, 0-3, 2-3, 3-0, 3-2), 400pts, 4-2
Ibai Perez (3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3), 380pts, 4-2
Brefel     (0-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2, 1-3, 3-2), 340pts, 4-2
Gordon     (0-3, 0-3, 0-3, 2-3, 0-3, 2-3),  80pts. 0-6

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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. We begin the season with  La Liga Kutxabank, starting October 29, 2016.

April 1, 2017--End of the Mundial Parejas

Championships:  L=La Liga; MI-Mundial Individual; MP-Mundial Parejas

Gaubeka(d)......11-7....41-32...-2*....1(L)
Fusto(d)............12-8....43-37..+3.......1(MP)
Zubiri(d)...........8-8.....31-29...-3*
Necol(d)...........10-12...43-47...-1
Landeta(d)........6-13...31-46..+1

Ibai-Perez(z).....16-5....54-32..+1*....3(L, MI, MP)
Brefel(z)..............9-8....35-32...-1
Ibargari(z)..........8-8....32-31..+1
Imanol(z)...........7-11...33-39..-.1*
Gordon(z)..........7-14...32-50..+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.

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.

Pre-Tournament qualifying round--February 17-18 ; Jornada 1: February 24, 2017 ; Jornada 2: March 3, 2017 (J2 links to full match video of both matches); Jornada 3 and 4 Jornada 5: March 17, 2017 ; Jornada 6: March 24, 2017Final and 3rd Place Match: April 1, 2017 (Final and 3rd place links to full match videos of both matches).