2nd Division Manomanista Final: classy rookie Beroiz takes the title by frontonnews

Saturday 23rd May
Beotibar, Tolosa
BEROIZ beat ARGOTE 22-13

Mikel Beroiz has been a professional pelotari for all of nine months but yesterday the 19 year old from Navarre defeated Jokin Argote to lift the second division manomanista title in commanding style. Beroiz carried the slightly shorter odds going into the final but to beat a man five years his senior in his first major final, at this stage in his nascent career, is a significant achievement. The enthusiastic crowd at Beotibar was treated to an enthralling match in which both players displayed classic shot making prowess but it was the exciting youngster who brought the greater power to bear.

For the first half of the encounter, the pelotaris were deadlocked, reaching 6-6 and 8-8 after a sprightly start from Argote had netted him an early lead. Beroiz then advanced to 13-8 and had seemingly cut himself free, but once again the scores were levelled at 13-13. However, Beroiz now demonstrated his physical prowess, and after a total of eight service winners in a match lasting 55 minutes and 221 strikes of the ball, the young pretender was crowned. Argote began well and took the game to his opponent in the early stages but it was the strength of Beroiz, his violence in attack and his clever use of the walls which saw him through. Remember the name, for we will hear much more of Mikel Beroiz.

Source: El Correo

Victory for Mikel Beroiz

Victory for Mikel Beroiz

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Earlier in the evening, the fans were treated to a high quality doubles match between Manomanista finalist Juan Martinez de Irujo and Asier Arruti, and Asier Olaizola and Oier Mendizabal. For Irujo this was a chance to maintain his barnstorming form of late as he prepares for his showdown with either Aimar Olaizola or Ruben Beloki on June 7th. However, things did not quite go to plan for him as Olaizola senior and Mendizabal took the win by a solitary point. Losing Manomanista semi finalist and defending champion Oinatz Bengoetxea also went down by one point; at the Mañaria Festival, he and Alexis Apraiz lost to Pablo Berasaluze and Oier Zearra by 22 points to 21. Meanwhile, in the headline match at the Arbizu Festival, Titin III and Zubieta beat Gonzalez and Lasa III 22-15.

Olaizola I took on Irujo and won

Olaizola I took on Irujo and won

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2nd Division Manomanista: Argote and Beroiz to dispute final by frontonnews
May 19, 2009, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: , , , ,

The 2nd division Manomanista final, to be played on Saturday May 23rd at Beotibar, Tolosa, will be between 26 year old Jokin Argote of Asegarce and 19 year old Mikel Beroiz of ASPE. Argote reached the final by defeating Asier Arruti 22-11 in Villamediana de Iregua on Friday, while Beroiz qualified 24 hours later, beating the fancied Mikel Olazabal 22-14 in Tolosa. Argote, the older of the pair, has the greater experience and has two 2nd division pairs titles to his name from 2007 and 2008. Beroiz has never before played in a championship final but has looked impressive in reaching this stage, and clearly has a bright future ahead of him. An intriguing final is in prospect.

Young talent Mikel Beroiz

Young talent Mikel Beroiz



2nd Division Manomanista: Olazabal the comeback kid into the semi finals by frontonnews
May 2, 2009, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday 1st May
Aritzbatalde, Zarautz
OLAZABAL beat OLAETXEA 22-14

The crowd at Aritzbatalde in Zarautz was not sizeable but those who did turn out to witness this quarter final match between two young talents were treated to an enthralling tie. Mikel Olazabal, the 22 year old from Areso has turned a lot of heads since he entered the professional ranks in 2007 and is surely destined for the heights. In the ASPE forward’s way stood Mikel Olaetxea from Asegarce, two years his senior and with experience on his side. It appeared as if experience would win out, but that was to reckon without the tenacity of Olazabal.

For the first half of the game, Olazabal was forced to dance to Olaetxea’s tune. The young Navarran allowed himself to be dominated and appeared ill at ease under pressure. It was Olaetxea’s impressive service which won him his initial advantage. The man from Lizartza regularly sent the ball barrelling to the back of the fronton at the 100kph mark, and although Olazabal was adept at making contact, he found controlling his returns to be beyond his powers. It was not until the score stood at 6-1 to Olaetxea that Olazabal managed to duel with his opponent on equal terms. Indeed, it looked very much as if he had the point in his pocket until ambition got the better of him and his attempted winner off both walls fell short of the frontis. In the very next point, Olaetxea marched onwards by showing the younger player how such a shot should be played. Olaetxea’s other masterful tactic was to bombard Olazabal with high balls, forcing him to attempt ever riskier overhead volleys. For much of the time, he was up to the task and scrapped impressively, but the pressure wore him down. At 9-1, it seemed as if the die had been cast for Olazabal.

However, one error can open doors for an opponent who seems down and out and so it proved here. When Olaetxea hit too low, it was Olazabal’s turn to show that he would not lie down. After triumph in the dog fight of a point which reduced his deficit to five points, Olazabal unleashed his own serving power. For three points in a row, he served fast and long before winning with a drop shot into the corner, his opponent still rooted to the back of the fronton. It was a tactic so simple and so effective, and Olaetxea was powerless to stop it. Olazabal did concede the serve in the next play, when he attempted the same thing and undercooked it but it was only to cost him one point. From 7-11 down, the young pelotari raced to a lead of 13-11, his serve once again leading the way. He also proved adept at forcing Olaetxea into risky shots where he was often found wanting. Although Olazabal conceded another two points, the result never now seemed in doubt; Olazabal grew a foot taller while Olaetxea’s composure ebbed away with each passing shot. When the latter won serve at 14-20, he blew his last chance with an unnecessary error which, rather than inducing fury in its creator, sparked only resignation. Olazabal wasted no time in adding the points he required for a victory made all the more impressive for the fight back he was forced to produce.

Olazabal now proceeds to the semi finals, where he will face another young talent, 19 year old Mikel Beroiz on May 17th. The other semi final, to be held on the same day, will be between Jokin Argote and Asier Arruti. The latter booked his place yesterday by defeating Pablo Urrizelki 22-18.

Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-1, 1-9, 2-9, 7-9, 7-11, 13-11, 13-12, 13-13, 14-13, 19-13, 19-14 and 22-14.

Mikel Olazabal

Mikel Olazabal