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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Xistera Kluba amateur competition circuit--2016 Annual Report, with links to all 9 full match final videos

Euskal Herriko Xistera Kluben Kirol Kluba (Basque Country Xistera Sports Club), together with EEUP (Euskadiko Euskal Pilota Federakuntza) has recently started an amateur Jai Alai tournament circuit. The Club has three aims: to reintroduce the game to children, to strengthen the game at the club level, and to create a competition circuit to help encourage new and young fans to follow the game. The full mission statement is here.

In January 2017 Xistera Kluba released its 2016 annual report (.pdf format, 19 p., available in Castilian and Basque). The report details XK's achievements in 2016. It is filled with links to XK print and video news releases and promotional material. From the point of view of the fan who wishes to see some excellent amateur (boys and girls) Jai Alai, it is an almost perfect index to each of the 9 XK tournament finals played between June and December of 2016, culminating with the Markina-Xemein Grand Final on December 17. Simply scroll to P. 11 (4. Competitions) of the report. For each tournament there are links to announcements, match articles, and full match videos. These videos are available directly at the XK Youtube site and/or EITB, but there is no site I know of where all these matches, along with the ancillary information about them, is so easily accessible. If you haven't seen some of these, or even if you have, this is a great starting point for all things XK in 2016.

Xistera Kluba 2016 Annual Report (Castilian). Click on "Para leer el balance anual, pinche aquĆ­"

Xistera Kluba 2016 Annual Report (Basque). Click on "Urteko balantzea irakurtzeko, sakatu hemen"

Main Nue--FFPB Championnat de France Elite Pro Individuel--Semi-final Liguilla Round 1, January 29-30, 2017

The Main Nue Individuel Elite Pro Championnat de France A and B competition is sponsored by the  Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB). The competition began on December 23, 2016 and will end on February 20, 2017. You can follow its progress here.  Pelotelive.free.fr also provides A and B coverage. The tournament is a seeded ladder tournament.

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

The A group consists of Antton Amulet, Philippe Bielle, Bixintxo Bilbao, Pascal de Ezcurra, Baptiste Ducassou, Peio Guichandut, Ximun Lambert, Peio Larralde, Matheiu Ospital, and Agusti Waltary. The seeds, from low to high are: Amulet and Ospital (1/8), Bilbao and Waltary (Quarter-finals), and Larralde and Ducassou ("Liguilla").

The B group consists of Gregory Aguirre, Jean-Philippe Benesse, Mickael Darmendrail, Vincent Elgart, Julien Etchegaray, Alexis Inchauspe, Laurent Lambert, Cedric Lucu, Alain Migueltorena, Antton Monce, Mattin Olcomendy*, and Mickael Palomes. The seeds, from low to high are: Darmendrail and L. Lambert (1/8), Palomes and Inchauspe (Quarter-finals), and Elgart and Monce ("Liguilla"). Note: Benesse was added to the Esku Pilota player pages sometime in January 2017.

The "Liguilla" phase is a round robin among the top 4 finishers (two who win their way in and two who are seeded in) which will determine the finalists. 

Article describing the competition (Esku Pilota)

December 23 2016-January 2, 2017;    January 6, 2017January 9, 2017;   January 14, 2017;  January 16, 2017January 20, 2017January 21, 2017January 23, 2017

Liguilla Semi-final Round 1-January 29-30, 2017

All four semi-final seeded players won their matches with varying degrees of ease, demonstrating the wisdom of the seeding in this tournament. The non-seeded players all have point differential issues and must fight hard to get back into the tournament. In the next round winners play winners and losers play losers. The losers matches will be battles for survival by players who had their confidence rattled to one degree or another this past weekend. Next Friday, February 3, 2017, at Arcangues it will be Etchegaray (-14) v Benesse (-12) in the B group. Sunday, February 5 at Armendaritz it will be Bilbao (-10) v Ospital (-23) in the A group. The feature match of the weekend will be Friday between Larralde (+10) and Ducassou (+23) in the A group. This will be a rematch of the Super Prestige Tournament Final in January, won by Larralde 40-31.  Sunday it will be Monce (+12) v Elgart (+14) in the B group.  They faced each other in a "Lever de rideau" (curtain raiser) independent match on January 14. Monce won 40-32. 

Table after Round 1:

Group A.

Ducassou.1-0...(+23)
Larralde...1-0...(+10)
Bilbao......0-1...(-10)
Ospital.....0-1...(-23)

Group B

Elgart..............1-0....(+14)
Monce.............1-0....(+12)
Benesse...........0-1....(-12)
Etchegaray......0-1.....(-14)


January 29, 2017

Saint Palais (1) (2)

Preview article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

1. Groupe B: Elgart defeated Etchegaray 40-26

2. Group A: Larralde defeated Bilbao 40-30

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

Match article for both matches, along with an audio interview with Peio Larralde and links to full match video for both matches (Esku Pilota). For links to full match video see also the Esku Pilota Youtube links below.

Partial match statistics for both matches (Microsoft Excel format, Esku Pilota). Note: This spreadsheet contains the scoring for the Larralde-Bilbao match, along with the equalities, decade linescores, and time of match for the Elgart-Etchegarary match. So incomplete statistics are available for both matches. If and when Esku Pilota creates a full statistics sheet for both matches, I will point to them. Until then, since there is valuable information about both matches in the one spreadsheet they have created, I will point to it.

1. Elgart v Etchegaray

Full Match video (Esku Pilota Youtube)

Elgart emphatically stopped Etchegaray's 3 match winning streak in this tournament. An 8-2 run in the third decade gave Elgart an 8 point lead. From there he equaled or added to his lead in each decade. He topped it off by winning the last 6 points of the match to turn this into a rout that put Etchegaray on the back foot for the rest of the liguilla. He now must not only win his next two matches, but also dominate them because of his point differential.

2. Larralde v Bilbao

Full match video (Esku Pilota Youtube) Note: video begins at 6-2 Larralde.

Partial linescore (winner always listed first) (source: both match articles)

10-2, 21-17, 29-19, 34-24, 35-25, 36-30; 40-30

Larralde took command early, with a 10-2 run. Bilbao spent the rest of the match trying to get back into contention and had his moments, but every time he challenged Larralde answered. A look at the scoring shows that Bilbao was impressive in his ability to score with every kind of point listed, but Larralde's service ace (10-6) and error (7-15) were decisive.

January 30, 2017

Preview articles for both matches (Pilota Ttiki) 

Le Garat, St. Jean-Pied-de-Port (1) (2)

1. Group B: Monce defeated Benesse 40-28

2. Group A: Ducassou defeated Ospital 40-17

Match article for both matches (Pilota Ttiki)

Match article for both matches, along with an audio interview with Baptiste Ducassou (Esku Pilota)

Match statistics (Microsoft Excel format, Esku Pilota) (both added February 2, 2017)

Monce-Benesse

Ducassou-Ospital

1. Monce v Benesse

Partial linescore (winner always listed 1st) (source: Esku Pilota)

10-3, 20-12, 30-18, 40-28

The linescore tells the story, as Monce used his great start to coast to an easy victory.

2. Ducassou v Ospital

Partial linescore (winner always listed 1st) (source: both match articles)

8-0, 10-1, 20-1, 30-4, 40-17.

In the preview article, Ospital said that he was happy to be in the liguilla and that anything beyond that would be a bonus. Ducassou made sure there would be no bonus in this match, completely dominating and putting everyone interested in this tournament on notice as to his expectations.

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.