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, January 9, 2017

Remonte--VII Master Individual Oriamendi Tournament--the match after

Whenever EITB broadcasts an important Remonte match from Galarreta, Hernani (1)(2), it is the "Star Match," the 2nd of a four match session. These sessions are played on Thursdays and Saturdays. After the important Star Match, EITB televises the 3rd match, which is usually a match involving better and more experienced players. I watch these matches because I don't often get to see the players in them. Also, it is fascinating to watch the body language of the "grind" that is the essence of the Oriamendi2010 schedule. The body language of these matches reminds me somewhat of the body language seen during the grind of an American Quiniela Jai Alai season at Miami or Dania Beach, Florida. Oriamendi2010 players grind out game after game, with partner after partner, week in and week out throughout the year. When a non-championship Remonte match ends at Galarreta, the contestants simply take off their helmets and cestas and walk off the floor. Fans have almost always seen the incredible things that you will see in a Remonte match. The idea of using something that looks like a Jai Alai basket as a racquet to hit the ball rather than catch and throw it seems impossible. Yet these players do this with grace, athleticism, and style. Remonte is not as fast as Jai Alai (but then, neither is any other ball sport in the world), but it is fast enough. To be able to hit the ball at all is amazing. To be able to hit it with a cesta on your right hand while plastered against the left wall, or to be able to execute standing or falling rebotes (rebounds off the back wall), as is done in Jai Alai on a regular basis, seems impossible with the Remonte implement. Watch and you'll see.

The match I watched (which is covered at the above Star Match link), was between Etxeberria IV-Etxeberria III and Segurola-Ion. Three of them are "A" group players. Segurola is a "B" group player who often plays in matches with A players. What I saw was one of the most amazing performances I have seen in the short time I've been following the sport. Etxeberria IV is a player I have seen little of and read even less about. But he put on an incredible performance to lead his team to victory. His partner had a pretty good game as well. Together, they played an almost perfect match.

Etxeberria IV-Etxeberria III defeated Segurola-Ion 40-26

Full match video (EITB) (match begins at 1 hour, 13 minutes on the video)

MY ARTICLE: Enhanced linescore E IV-EIII v S-I

Remonte--VII Masters Individual Oriamendi Tournament

The 7th Masters Individual Oriamendi Tournament was played at Galarreta, Hernani (1)(2) on December 31, 2016, January 5, and January 7, 2017.

Oriamendi2010 news release announcing the tournament.

January 7, 2017


Urriza defeated Endika 30-24

Full match video (EITB)

Match preview (Oriamendi2010)

Match article (Oriamendi2010)

Match article, with statistics and linescore (Diario Vasco)

Match linescore source: EITB and Diario Vasco, statistics source: Diario Vasco

Condensed Match linescore (winner always listed 1st).

1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-4, 4-4, 4-5, 6-5, 6-8, 7-8, 7-11, 8-11, 8-12, 9-12, 9-13, 14-13, 14-14, 15-14, 15-15, 15-16, 16-16, 16-18, 19-18, 19-20, 19-21, 20-21, 23-21, 23-22, 26-22, 26-23, 28-23, 28-24, 30-24


Urriza +23 (including 6 service aces) -3 Endika +21 (including 2 service aces) -7

Balls in play: 218
Time of the match: 62 minutes 30 seconds

About a year ago (January 9 and 18, 2016), Uterga defeated Urriza in two singles tournaments (last year's Oriamendi VI Master (30-27) and Euskal Jai Berri Navidad Festival (30-15)). Since that time, Urriza has appeared in 3 singles tournaments--2 Galarreta long court (Kutxabank, VII Oriamendi Masters), and 1 short court (Euskal Jai Berri Navidad (Labrit)). His record in those tournaments is 7 wins, 0 losses and he has won all three convincingly. He defeated Urterga 3 times, Ion twice, Barrenetxea IV once, and Endika once. His average margin of victory in the 7 matches was 30-21.

Since December 26, 2016 he has defeated Uterga twice by the same margin (30-22) and now Endika. They are arguably the top front and back court players on the Oriamendi2010 roster. The victory over Endika was the most difficult, as the linescore shows. Halfway through the match Urriza trailed. But then he simply took over, outscoring Endika 11-3. When you watch the match, watch how he goes into a higher gear to make anti-climactic a match that was terrifically competitive. He just does more things better than anyone else. And is a joy to watch. With the win, Urriza has now won this tournament 3 times. Uterga and Ezkurra have won it twice.

December 31, 2016

1st Semi-final:

Endika defeated Ion 30-19.

Match article (Oriamendi2010)

Partial linescore (winner always listed 1st).

15-15; 24-15; 28-17; 30-19

Salient scoring statistics. Endika 17 service aces;  Ion 1 service ace.

Endika scored over half his points via service aces. In the first half of the match he achieved equality by scoring 8 of his 15 points with aces. His 9 point run to begin the 2nd half of the match was decisive. These two players met in a semi-final of the 2015 tournament, the only other time in the last three years they have played each other in a singles match, Endika won 30-23.

January 5, 2017

2nd Semi-final:

Urriza  defeated Uterga  30-22

Preview article

Match article 

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st).

5-6; 11-6; 12-8; 21-10; 22-16; 30-22

Scoring: Urriza +27 (including 7 service aces) -4 (including 1 service fault) Uterga +18 (including 5 service aces) -3 (including 2 service faults).

Urriza followed up his championship victory over Uterga on the short court at Iruna (Pamplona) on December 31, 2016 with this win on the long court. The two victories were by identical scores. In this one a 16-4 run (5-6 to 21-10) gave him a platform to cruise to victory. Uterga fought back with his own 6-1 run at that point but it wasn't enough. At 12-8 a ball from Uterga struck Urriza on the wrist and the match was delayed. Uterga had won the last two editions of this tournament.  Uterga, Urriza, and Ezkurra have each won two of the first 6 tournaments.

Note: this tournament was also covered as a series of Galarreta "Star Matches" on the recurring Remonte: Galarreta "STAR" matches page on the right side of the blog. There you can follow such tournaments as these in the larger context of the four match sessions that take place on Thursday's and Saturday's.