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, April 5, 2017

Pala--2017 Mundo Parejas--Final and 3rd Place Matches

Mundial Parejas, the premier long court Pala Tournament, began February 17-18, 2017. It ended April 1, 2017. The tournament, sponsored by Munduko Pilota Batzarra (World Pilota Council) was set up in a unique way. In each round the partnerships changed. It featured 8 InnPala professionals, 4 front court (delanteros) and 4 back (zagueros). The tournament was played as a double round robin, with each player pairing with 3 others in each round, for a total of 6 matches.  At the end of the competition the top two delanteros paired up with the top two zagueros and played in a final. There was also a 3rd place match. The scoring for the tournament was based completely on joko (set) scores: 3-0=100pts, 3-1=80pts, 3-2=60pts, 2-3=40pts, 1-3=20pts, 0-3=0pts. The scoring system emphasized the importance of every joko, no matter what the situation of any match.

All matches were played at Mungia, (1)(2) the "Cathedral" of long court Pala (Pala Larga (1)(2)).

Complete tournament information (.pdf format, 11p), including match schedule and partnerships, rules of the tournament, and a listing of past winners going back to 2007. (Source: Munduko Pilota Batzarra).

Player table and information  (Source: Munduko Pilota Batzarra). Note: the "dossier" link on this page connects to the above tournament information pamphlet.

InnPala Tournament page

Preview article: (

Preview article: (Deia)

2016 Final full match video: Fusto-Brefel defeated Gaubeka-Imanol 3-2 (10-8, 8-10, 10-6, 7-10, 10-7) (EITB). For those who are unfamiliar with the traditional long court game, this is a great example of it. For those who know and love the form, last year's final was, quite simply, a superb match.


Pre-Tournament qualifying round--February 17-18 ; Jornada 1: February 24, 2017 ; Jornada 2: March 3, 2017 (J2 links to full match video of both matches); Jornada 3 and 4 Jornada 5: March 17, 2017 ; Jornada 6: March 24, 2017; Final and 3rd Place Match: April 1, 2017 (Final and 3rd place links to full match videos of both matches).

Note: Source for all article links, unless otherwise specifically stated, is Munduko Pilota Batzarra (World Pilota Council). Usually MPB match articles are presented in both Basque and Castilian, using the same link. The articles appear first in Basque, and then below that in Castilian.

Individual joko scores source: InnPala Twitter feed, EITB, or Deia.

April 1, 2017

Mungia, (1)(2)


Fusto-Ibai Perez defeated Gaubeka-Imanol 3-2 (4-10, 9-10, 10-8, 10-8, 10-8) (43-44)

Video: final point and closing ceremony (EITB)

Full match video (EITB)

Preview article (Deia)

Match article (Deia)

Match article (

Match article (Munduko Pilota Batzarra)

Individual Joko Linescores (winners always listed 1st) (EITB)

J1: 0-1; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 4-2; 4-3; 4-4; 4-5; 4-6; 4-7; 4-8; 4-9; 4-10 (0-1) (121 balls in play)

J2: 0-1; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 2-3; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 6-6; 7-6; 7-7; 8-7; 8-8; 9-8; 9-9; 9-10 (0-2)  (184 bip)

J3: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 3-1; 3-2; 3-3; 4-3; 5-3; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 7-5; 8-5; 9-5; 9-6; 9-7; 9-8; 10-8 (1-2) (146 bip)

J4: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 3-3; 3-4; 4-4; 5-4; 6-4; 6-5; 6-6; 7-6; 8-6; 8-7; 9-7; 9-8; 10-8 (2-2) (110 bip)

J5: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 2-5; 2-6; 3-6; 4-6; 5-6; 5-7; 5-8; 6-8 (F+); 7-8(F+); 8-8(F+); 9-8(IP service ace); 10-8(F+) (3-2) (177 bip)

Total balls in play (my count) 738.

balls in play: number of points

0-9: 54
10-19: 24
20-29: 8
41: 1

Scoring (Deia)

Fusto +18 -11; Ibai Perez +7 (including 4 service aces) -6 (including 1 service fault)

Gaubeka +16 -5; Imanol +11 (including 6 service aces) -12 (including 4 service faults)

Time of the match 1 hour and 27 minutes.

After last year's scintillating Final (scroll to the "Pala" painting), a 5 set battle that consumed over 550 balls in play and was not decided until the last 3 points of the last joko, one could have only hoped for something nearly as intense in this year's final. Well, we got more than we hoped for. Another 5 set battle with 3 of the same contestants (Ibai Perez replacing Brefel as Fusto's partner was the only change); a match in which 87 of a possible 95 points were contested (1 more than last year); a match which consumed (by my count) 738 balls in play as opposed to last year's 564 (EITB) and lasted nearly an hour and a half; a match in which 4 of the 5 jokos were decided by 2 points or less; a match in which 33 points consumed 10 or more balls in play, and 9 consumed more than 20 (compared to last year's 19 and 3 points respectively), and so on. It was a better match than last year's final, in my opinion, but watch them both and you will see some of the finest Pala you'll ever see.

At the heart of it all was Fusto. Ably supported by Ibai Perez (who has now won all three major Pala championships this season), Fusto simply would not be beaten "down the stretch." Down 5-8 in the last joko (beginning at 1:25:55 on the match video) he scored with a beautiful low left wall shot to end a 24 ball point, a two wall to the inside shot from the apron, a low and outside smash that was "too hot" for Gaubeka to handle to end a 21 ball point, and a high perfectly placed shot that Imanol couldn't quite get to. It was great play from a great player at the most important moment in the match. Fusto at his best, in my opinion.

The final joko was a microcosm of the whole match. It was dominated by G-I early, then brought back almost to equality, followed by a spurt by G-I that almost won the match, followed by the fireworks at the end. After G-I dominated the 1st joko with an 8-0 run to win 10-4 (successfully keeping Ibai Perez as far back as possible), and fought back from 8-9 to win the second joko, it seemed like this match was over. But over the course of the next two jokos, G-I found themselves in the lead only once over the course of 36 very hard fought points. During those 36 points, the biggest lead established was 4, once.

Everyone played well and the large crowd was "into" the match from start to finish. If you could see just one Pala match, this might be it. Both Fusto and Ibai Perez finished this tournament with 5 match wins and 2 losses. Both Gaubeka and Imanol finished at 4-3. Fusto won his 5th championship in this tournament and his 3rd in succession. It was Ibai Perez' 1st.

Third place match

Landeta-Gordon defeated Necol-Brefel  3-2 (10-6, 4-10, 6-10, 10-5, 10-9) (40-40)

Full match video (EITB) Match begins at 1:41:42 on the video.

Individual Joko Linescores (winners always listed 1st) (EITB)

J1: 1-0; 2-0; 2-1; 3-1; 4-1; 5-1; 6-1; 7-1; 8-1; 8-2; 8-3; 8-4; 9-4; 9-5; 9-6; 10-6 (1-0) (79 balls in play)

J2: 0-1; 0-2; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 2-5; 3-5; 3-6; 4-6; 4-7; 4-8; 4-9; 4-10 (1-1) (60 bip)

J3: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 2-3; 2-4; 3-4; 3-5; 3-6; 4-6; 5-6; 5-7; 6-7; 6-8; 6-9; 6-10 (1-2) (99 bip)

J4: 0-1; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 1-5; 2-5; 3-5; 4-5; 5-5; 6-5; 7-5; 8-5; 9-5; 10-5; (2-2) (120 bip)

J5: 1-0; 1-1; 2-1; 2-2; 3-2; 4-2; 5-2; 5-3; 5-4; 5-5; 5-6; 6-6; 6-7; 6-8; 7-8; 8-8; 9-8; 9-9; 10-9 (3-2) (122 bip)

480 balls in play

0-9: 66
10-19: 12
20-29: 2
Longest point: 26

Scoring (my judgments, yours may be different). Any serve not returned was considered a service ace. 3 Brefel  service aces appeared to me to be return errors (2 by Gordon and 1 by Landeta). 2 Gordon service aces appeared to me to be return errors (both by Brefel).

Landeta +11 -6; Gordon +10 (including 3 service aces) -7 (including 3 service faults)

Necol +17 -11; Brefel +10 (including 6 service aces);  -8

Brefel had the only 2 back wall rebotes in the match.

Time of the match: 1:02:42

This match was one that was dominated at different times by both teams. Then came the final joko. Each team seemed to pick up its intensity.  At 8-6 N-B were almost home, but three great winners by Gordon and a beautiful smash by Landeta that Necol couldn't quite handle, sandwiched around a powerful Necol winner, gave both Landeta and Gordon their first win against 6 losses in the tournament. Both Necol and Brefel finished 4-3.

All in all, it was a wonderful day's play to end this traditional long court tournament.


Final League Table:

Key: Player, W-win, L-loss, Joko Scores, Tournament points, Match record

Delanteros (Front Court)

Gaubeka (3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-0, 2-3), 400 pts, 4-2
Fusto   (3-0, 3-0, 0-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2), 380 pts, 4-2
Necol   (0-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2, 0-3, 3-2), 320 pts, 4-2
Landeta (0-3, 0-3, 0-3, 2-3, 1-3, 2-3), 100 pts, 0-6

Zagueros (Back Court)

Imanol     (3-0, 3-0, 0-3, 2-3, 3-0, 3-2), 400pts, 4-2
Ibai Perez (3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3), 380pts, 4-2
Brefel     (0-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2, 1-3, 3-2), 340pts, 4-2
Gordon     (0-3, 0-3, 0-3, 2-3, 0-3, 2-3),  80pts. 0-6


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.

April 1, 2017--End of the Mundial Parejas

Championships:  L=La Liga; MI-Mundial Individual; MP-Mundial Parejas


Ibai-Perez(z).....16-5....54-32..+1*....3(L, MI, MP)

*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.

For cumulative accounting of this player table see the InnPala Player win-loss table under the Pala page on the right side of the blog.

Pre-Tournament qualifying round--February 17-18 ; Jornada 1: February 24, 2017 ; Jornada 2: March 3, 2017 (J2 links to full match video of both matches); Jornada 3 and 4 Jornada 5: March 17, 2017 ; Jornada 6: March 24, 2017Final and 3rd Place Match: April 1, 2017 (Final and 3rd place links to full match videos of both matches).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Main Nue: FFPB CDC Elite Pro par Equipe--Week 5-April 1-2, 2017

The Main Nue Elite Pro par Equipe (pairs) Championnat de France A and B competition is sponsored by the  Federation Francaise de Pelote Basque (FFPB). The competition began on March 3, 2017 and ends on May 7, 2017. You can follow its progress here (link to "resultats" from the FFPB home  page). also provides A and B coverage. The tournaments have a "poule" phase, a single round robin, followed by a playoff system which is so byzantine that I will make no attempt to explain it because I can't. It is the most complex playoff system I have seen in my short time following these fascinating BP tournaments. Go to the FFPB site listed above and read P. 3 of the "resultats" booklet. See how clear it is to you. For now, we will just follow along and deal with the playoff system when we get to it.

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

Groupe A

Peio Larralde-Bixintxo Bilbao; Agusti Waltary-Peio Guichandut; Mathieu Ospital-Baptiste Ducassou; Julien Etchegaray-Vincent Lazcano; Alexis Inchauspe-Anton Amulet; Philippe Bielle-Ximun Lambert

Groupe B:

Laurent.Lambert-Mickael Palomes; Vincent Elgart-Pascal de Ezcurra; Mattin Olcomendy*-Jean-Philippe Bennesse, Antton Monce-Cedric Lucu

Source for all match articles, unless otherwise specifically stated, is Thus far, most Pilota Ttiki match articles are incorporated into the match pages. I will link to them, for ease of access when they are.

Week 1: March 3-4, 2017  ;  Week 2: March 12-13Week 3: March 18-19 ; Week 4: March 25, 27, 2017

Week5: April 1-2, 2017

April 1, 2017

Saint Pee sur Nivelle (1)(2)

Preview article for both matches

A11: Ospital-Ducassou defeated Larralde-Migueltorena (substituting for Bilbao) 40-30

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st) (source: Pilota Ttiki)

2-8; 10-10; 12-12; 20-16; 33-23; 35-30; 40-30

B5: L. Lambert-Palomes defeated Elgart-de Ezcurra 40-35

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st) (source: Pilota Ttiki and Esku Pilota match stories)

10-8; 10-10; 20-15; 22-22; 22-29; 25-30; 30-30; 38-32; 40-35

Match article for both matches

Match article for both matches (Esku Pilota)

Just like last week, O-D got off to a poor start. At the end of the 1st decade they were down by exactly the same score as they were in last week's match v Waltary-Guichandut. In this match they equalized at 12 and then went on a 21-11 run to seemingly put the match out of reach. But L-M fought back with a 7-2 run of their own before O-D scored the last 5 points of the match to win. What was concerning about this match was that Bilbao was out with an achilles heel injury. Theoretically it should have been easier than this for O-D. O-D's slow starts need to be addressed, as Ospital admitted in an interview after the match. All that said, only Inchauspe-Amulet stand in their way of a perfect poule record. This was Ducassou's 9th consecutive victory in 2017.

The linescore of the Groupe B match tells an intriguing story and hints at what a an exciting match it was. Ahead at the half-way mark, L-P were suddenly caught and passed by a 9-2 run by E-E that included 7 consecutive points. L-P then completely turned the tables with a 16-3 run of their own that decided the issue. The win finished a perfect 3-0 poule phase for L-P and put them into a knock-out match against the final qualifier from Groupe A.

April 2,  2017

Irissarry (1)(2)

Preview article for both matches

A12:  Inchauspe-Amulet  defeated Etchegaray-Lazcano 40-24

Selected linescore (winners always listed 1st)

10-5; 20-15; 30-16; 40-24

B4: Olcomendy-Benesse defeated Monce-Lucu 40-39

Salient match linescore statistics. Though no linescore appeared in the match article, it did mention that there were 15 equalities throughout the match.

Match article for both matches: Note: at the bottom of the match article there is a final table for the B Groupe.

Both of these matches were, in essence, knockout matches. The loser of one and the winner of the other were eliminated from the competition in that group. As I-A hit each decade mark,they maintained or increased their lead. Their road to the next phase gets more difficult as they must defeat Ospital-Ducassou to have any chance. O-B won their final match, which was the best match of the weekend in terms of suspense. Even with their win, they were eliminated due to point differential.

Full A table at the end of play April 2

Final B Table

Final B Table (Pilota Ttiki) Final table is at the bottom of the article.

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.