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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Aritz Erkiaga's Marvelous Month at Miami

Eric Irastorza, the great back court player who recently left Miami Jai Alai, probably said it as well as anyone (and he would know as well as anyone) when he said, in an interview with Jai Alai Facebook

El sistema de quinielas es muy particular. Necesitas muchísima concentración porque no puedes fallar, y siempre debes estar listo. Eso se aprende con los año. Como la técnica. Jugando todos los días, mejoras mucho, y agarras confianza en tu juego.

Loosely (Google English) translated:

The system of quinielas is very particular. You need a lot of concentration because you can not fail, and you should always be ready. That is learned through the years. Like the technique. Playing every day, you improve a lot, and you gain confidence in your game.

For the last month, Aritz Erkiaga has had a lot of concentration, has always been ready, and has hardly ever failed. He had a month for the ages from February 8, 2017 to March 8, 2017. For the four weeks ending February 13, 20, 27, and March 6, he led the roster each week, with 11, 15, 15, and 15 victories. He was also "in the money" (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place finishes) 22, 22, 19, and 25 times. 56 victories and 88 ITMs. He played 133 games, making his winning percentage .421 and his ITM percentage .662. Those numbers over that period of time are staggering. Miami Jai Alai keeps only season long (a 6 month season) statistics, but if you look at the statistics through March 6 (see P. 2). you will see what winning and ITM percentages look like in the long run. Aritz (#36) is having a pretty good season as well.

He also had some pretty impressive streaks during the month.

Between February 8 and March 8 he won at least 1 game in 24 consecutive performances (each 12 game session is called a performance).

Between February 17 and March 8 he won more than 1 game in 16 consecutive performances.

Between March 4 and March 8 he was in the money in 18 consecutive games.

It is well known, but bears repeating. Quiniela Jai Alai as it is played at Miami and Dania Beach Florida is a brutal grind. At Miami, the sport is played 6 days a week. Aritz is in the "A" group of players and his usual workload is 5 games a day; 4 doubles matches, each with (almost always) a different partner, and 1 singles match. With injuries and other substitutions, it is not uncommon to play 7 or even 8 games. The nature of this Jai Alai is such that if you lose concentration or make a mistake, you lose the point and have to go to the bench and wait through 7 points before you get to play again. In other words, you lose control of the game. There is no time to get into any sort of rhythm. This magnitude of success for this length of time is extraordinary.

I put together a week by week accounting of the player with the most wins for the week, game by game, as a tribute to that player. Below you will find each of Aritz' weeks.


Key: Date (all games are matinees) G=Game No., P=Post No., F=Finish No. (X=Out of the Money), (Partner-Partner number of wins) All games are 7pt doubles matches except G1,G5,G9,G12, which are 7pt. singles, and G4,G8,G10 which are 9pt doubles *=substitute.

For the week ending February 13

Partner key (7): A=Aizpitarte, C=Cisneros, Ga=Garro, Gu=Guisasola, L=Ladutxe; Si=Sierra II; Sp=Spinner

2/8--G2P4F1(Ga-2)G3P3F1(L-8)G4P8F2; G5P8FX; G6P8F1(Sp-3)G10P8F2; G11P4FX
2/9--G2P4FX; G3P8F2G4P1F2; G5P3FX; G6P6F1(Sp-3);
2/10--G2P7FX; G3P6F1(Si-4)G4P3F3; G5P7FX; G6P7F3G11*P2F2
2/11--G2P6FX; G3P1F1(L-8)G4P3F1(A-11); G5P3FX; G6P5F2
2/12--G2P3F1(Gu-1)G3P6F1(C-5)G4P1F2; G5P4F3; G6P3FX; G10P2FX; G11P6F1(L-8)
2/13--G7P6FX; G8P5FX; G10P4F1(L-8)G11P4F2; G12P4FX

February 20

Partner key (9):  Ald=Aldazabal, Ale=Alejandro, Ca=Carlos, Ch=Chauderon, Ci=Cisneros, G=Guisasola, L=Ladutxe, M=Manuel, S=Spinner

2/15--G7P5F1(G-3)G8P3F3G10P4F1(L-8); G11P1FX; G12P5F1
2/16--G6P6FX; G7P5FX; G8P5F3G10P1F2G11P8F1(G-3)G12P8F2
2/17--G2P6F3; G3P2FX; G4P4F2G7P8F1(Ci-8)G8P2F1(Ch-1)G10P1F1(Ale-3)G11P7F1(Ald-6); G12P8FX
2/18--G7P5FX; G8P4F1(Ca-4); G10P6FX; G11P5F1(S-3); G12P4FX
2/19--G6*P8F1(M-5); G7P8FX; G8P7FX; G10P8F1(Ald-6); G11P7FX; G12P7FX
2/20--G2P7FX; G3P3F1(L-8); G4P7F1(G-3)G5P5F1G6P5F2; G10P1FX; G11P3FX

February 27

 Partner key (8): Ai=Aizpitarte, Ar= Arriza, Ch=Chauderon, Ci=Cisneros, G=Garro,  M=Manuel, Si=Sierra II, Sp=Spinner.

2/22--G2P4FX; G3P5FX; G4P4FX; G5P4F1G6P3F1(M-5)
2/23--G2P2F1(Ci-8)G3P3F1(Ch-1); G4P7FX; G5P5F1G6P3F1(Ar-4)
2/24--G2P7FX; G3P6FX; G4P7F1(Sp-4); G5P3FX; G6P6F1(Ai-5)
2/25--G2P5F1(Ci-8)G3P5F2; G4P6FX; G5P4FX; G6P1F1(Sp-4)
2/26--G2P5F1(Ci-8)G3P5F1(Ar-4)G4P3F3G5P8F1; G6P1FX; G10P5FX; G11P6FX
2/27--G7P4F3G8P8F1(Si-5)G10P2F1(G-1); G11P8FX; G12P1F2

March 6

Partner key (7): A=Arriza, Ca=Carlos, Ch=Chauderon, Ci=Cisneros, G=Guisasola,  L-Ladutxe, S=Spinner,

3/1--G4*P6FX; G6*P8F1(L-7)G7P1F3G8P3F1(S-5); G10P6FX; G11P7F1(G=5)G12P5F2
3/2--G7P3F2G8P8F2G10P8F1(G-5)G11P1F1(Ch-3); G12P6FX
3-3--Did Not Play
3/4--G7P7FX; G8P3F2G10P4F1(S-5)G11P3F3G12P2F1

For more information on Miami weekly leaders, see the Miami weekly leaders recurring page on the right side of the blog.