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.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Main Nue-South Basque v North Basque

The Arabako Sagardotegien Torneo Kopo was played January 6, 2017 at Tornosolo, Abadino (1) (2)

Gonzalez-Ugarte defeated Inchauspe-Bilbao 40-14

Condensed linescore (winners always listed 1st) (Source: EITB)

1-0; 1-1; 9-1; 9-2; 11-2; 11-3; 15-3; 15-5; 18-5; 18-6; 19-6; 19-7; 20-7; 20-10; 37-10; 37-14; 40-14

Full match video (EITB)

In a match billed as Hegoalde (South Basque) v Ipparalde (North Basque), the Hegoalde team completely dominated with runs of 8-1 and 17-0 in the first and second halves. Mikel Gonzalez continued his excellent play that was featured in the Super Prestige tournament.  His partner Inhar Ugarte also played very well in the back court. Ugarte is a small but strong man, who strikes the pelota with surprising power. His rebotes were quite effective and he showed deft touch on several direct points into the side dugout mesh. Together they simply overwhelmed their North Basque opponents. The 61 ball 20-10 point (33:01-35:48 on the video), won by I-B, their 3rd in a row, was the kind of point that might have given them some needed momentum. Instead it was the last point they scored for the next 17. The 26-10 point was another marathon (73 balls--43:04-46:13) that Ugarte won with a beautiful shot. Gonzalez' service game was effective, netting him 11 aces by my count. He also began several points by serving from the right side, something he did not feature in the two Super-prestige matches for which full match videos were available.

The trinquet was interesting in that a) there was no xilo box, and b) the back wall was glass, behind which was a spectator section. This effectively made Tornosolo an "Argentine" trinquet like Cambo les Bains, meaning the defenders played differently than they would have on a conventional trinquet.

I have little knowledge of the organization of Esku Pilota tournaments and even less knowledge of the state of Main Nue in the South Basque. And making any comparisons based on one match is always dangerous.  But I would love to see more Hegoalde-Ipparalde matches like this one. I hope Mikel Gonzalez (and perhaps Inhar Ugarte) get more exposure in future EP tournaments as well.