Virgen Blanco Semi Final: Pablito and Oier finalists at Ogueta by frontonnews

Friday 7th August
Ogueta, Vitoria-Gasteiz
BERASALUZE VIII – MENDIZABAL II beat TITIN III – PASCUAL 22-10

The second semi final of the Torneo Virgen Blanco was significantly better attended than the first, in which only about 500 of 2155 seats were filled. Friday, in contrast, brought a near full house of enthusiastic fans who appeared torn in terms of allegiance between the master Titin and ‘Pablito’ Berasaluze, the terrier from Berriz. In the final analysis, it was the fans of the latter who left satisfied; Berasaluze produced a trademark performance of tenacity and drive, belying once again his small stature. Titin looked a shadow of the man we know he can be and it was only when the victory was as good as in the bag for the Asegarce pair that he showed any kind of convincing fight. Berasaluze in contrast chanced his arm and succeeded, bringing off some stunning hooks and returning everything his opponents could throw at him. In defence, Inigo Pascual seemed oddly off colour and never truly found his range. Oier Mendizabal, conversely, was at his metronomic best, the perfect bedrock for the attacking instinct of his partner.

The Asegarce victory here means that the final will be an inter-empresa affair; Berasaluze and Mendizabal will play Xala and Goni III of ASPE for the Virgen Blanco crown on Sunday. Catch it on ETB-Sat at 17:55 (CEST).

Mendizabal II: eye on the ball

Mendizabal II: eye on the ball

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Virgen Blanco Semi Final: Xala and Goni through after show of strength by frontonnews
August 8, 2009, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday 6th August
Ogueta, Vitoria-Gasteiz
XALA – GONI III beat BENGOETXEA VI – BEGINO 22-9

Ogueta was strangely under-populated for the first Virgen Blanco semi final on Wednesday. Whether this was due to the lack of star attraction on the fronton or to more attractive happenings elsewhere at Vitoria-Gasteiz’s fiesta is anybody’s guess, but these pelotaris deserved better. However, despite the absent sense of occasion, Xala and Goni III put on a display worthy of the largest possible stage.

For nine points, the match was a tight affair, characterised by some superior play by Aritz Begino, who initially had the better of his opposite number, Fernando Goni. However, with the score at 5-4 to the eventual losers, the game blew apart with eight unanswered points from Xala and Goni. Begino suffered an all too obvious errosion of confidence and went on to commit eight errors. In contrast, Goni was unflappable and as solid as the proverbial brick wall, maintaining the form he showed in partnering Martinez de Irujo to pairs championship glory earlier in the year. Xala took some time to hit his stride but when an astonishing hook from the ASPE forward took the score to parity at 5-5, the die was cast for the remainder of the match.

At the front of the court, Xala moved the ball at will, toying with both the walls and his forward opponent Oinatz Bengoetxea. The former Manomanista champion has been absent through injury for the past two months and sadly for him, it showed. He fared well in the flow of play but lacked any kind of closing power when it came to striking winners, something which came naturally to his opposite number. There was also an apparent lack of teamwork in the play of the Asegarce pair, who have not played together at all in recent months. On several occasions, Bengoetxea left balls for Begino which he should rightfully have taken himself, resulting in confusion and mishits. All in all then, this was a night to forget for Bengoetxea and Begino, but one which will provide Xala and Goni with a massive boost ahead of Sunday’s final.

Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-5, 12-5, 12-6, 14-6, 14-7, 17-7, 17-8, 20-8, 20-9 and 22-9.

Xala on song in Vitoria-Gasteiz

Xala on song in Vitoria-Gasteiz



Torneo Virgen Blanco Final, Sunday 9th August, on ETB-Sat by frontonnews
August 8, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The final of the Virgen Blanco tournament in Vitoria-Gasteiz will be shown on ETB-Sat tomorrow, as will the curtain raising match which preceeds it. Both pairs were dominant in their respective semi finals and a good contest should be in prospect. Details are below.

Sunday 9th August
Ogueta, Vitoria-Gasteiz

16:55 (CEST) SARALEGI – PENAGARIKANO v OLAZABAL – LASKURAIN

Virgen Blanco Final
17:55 (CEST) BERASALUZE VIII – MENDIZABAL II v XALA – GONI III

To watch, go to http://www.eitb.com/television/etb-sat

Pablo Berasaluze takes on Xala

Pablo Berasaluze takes on Xala