Preview article (mundodeportivo.com)
Preview article (Naiz)
The articles note that Fusto is the favorite, seeded in at the semi-final level, having won all 5 of the finals played at Bizkaia (2012-16). He also won in 2009. If he wins this tournament, he will equal Oscar Insausti's record of 7 singles championships. The articles also note that Esteban Gaubeka, last year's runner up, is suffering from shoulder tendinitis, but hopes to be ready to play his first match (seeded in at the semi-final level) on February 4.
Play in Round--January 14, 2014
Second Round--January 21, 2017
Quarter-final Round--January 27, 2017
Semi-final Round--February 3, 2017
Joko (set) score sources: Innpala Twitter feed (track back to date), Innpala Fronton Facebook page, and Deia.
1. Ibargarai defeated Gaubeka 3-1 (6-10, 10-6, 10-6, 10-5 or 10-9) (36-27 or 36-31). Note: a post to Innpala Fronton Facebook by Gaubeka said he lost the final joko 10-9, rather than the 10-5 published at InnPala twitter feed. The Deia article listed the final joko score as 10-5.
2. Ibai-Perez defeated Fusto 3-0 (10-8, 10-7, 10-6) (30-21)
Match article for both matches (Deia)
Match article for both matches, along with 9 photos (InnPala Fronton Facebook page)
At the time this was posted, there was no available "on demand" match video of these matches. If video becomes available I will link to it and add a listing ror it in the "update to published posts" on the right side of the blog
Instead, for now, it might be interesting (though of course in no way predictive) to watch a replay of last year's (2016) Ibargarai-Ibai Perez match (source: EITB), which was for 3rd place in this tournament (see below for more information). The match begins at 1 hour and 8 minutes on the video.
What happened at Bizkaia on Friday night was...an earthquake...a changing of the guard..., not what most people expected. Both seeded semi-finalists, who had played against each other in last year's final, were defeated decisively. For the first time (at Bizkaia, at any rate), the final of this competition will be played by back court players.
Gaubeka, returning from a shoulder injury, won the first joko, but then Ibargarai took command, although the final joko score is in some doubt for those of us who didn't see it.
The brief InnPala website artcle about the Ibai-Perez Fusto match said:
"Gran sorpresa la acontecida en el fronton Bizkaia en la segunda de las semifinales del individual de pala, el zaguero de Sestao gano por 0-3 al pentacampeona de la modalidad, la principal arma de Ibai fue el saque con el que hizo muchísimo daño. Pablo pese a jugar un buen partido se vio superado por un adversario al que le salía todo y que supo sufrir mucho para llevarse el encuentro."
Loosely (Google) translated:
"A big surprise happened in the Biscay fronton in the second of the semifinals of the World Individual Championship. The defender of Sestao won by 0-3 to the 5 time champion of the modality. The main weapon of Ibai was the service with which he did a lot of damage. Pablo, despite playing a good game was surpassed by an opponent who went all out and knew how to suffer a lot to get the match."
Ibai-Perez and Ibargarai will meet in the final on February 10. Fusto will play Gaubecka for 3rd place. A point of interest. These are the same 4 pelotaris who played in last year's final and semi-final. The prize they are playing for has reversed. Last year's semi final was won by Ibargarai 3-1 (6-10, 10-4, 10-5, 10-5) (36-24).
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.
February 3, 2017
Includes Dec. 30, 2016 independent match: Landeta-Imanol defeated Zuberi--Ibai-Perez 3-1 (10-8, 7-10, 10-9, 10-7) 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.
Includes Nov. 19, 2016 independent match: Zuberi-Ibargari defeated Necol-Gordon 3-0 (10-8, 10-3, 10-9) at Bizkaia.