Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: Labrit, Manomanista, Martinez de Irujo, Pamplona, Pelota Mano, Xala
Saturday 18th April
MARTINEZ DE IRUJO beat XALA 22-4
Yves Salaberry, known in sporting terms as Xala, stood bodily in the path of a hurricane on Friday night. That hurricane originated in Ibero and made its way to Labrit to wreak havoc in the form of one Juan Martinez de Irujo, pelotari supreme. Xala must have come into this match with some confidence, despite the reputation of his opponent. The man from Lekuine played an excellent pairs championship, despite his lack of defensive support hindering his chances of making the knockout stages, and Irujo, while brilliant, can be eminently beatable. Nobody, least of all Xala, can have expected this.
Xala started well, his strong left arm winning him the first point, but Irujo, amazingly, won the next twenty. He was unable to do anything as Irujo served with aplomb, volleyed brilliantly and used the two walls as his play things. Only in the dying moments of the match did Xala manage to offer any kind of meagre resistance, winning three points in a row to save a little face. Irujo has won the Manomanista title on two previous occasions, in 2004 and 2006, and few would bet a large sum against him here. There will be sterner tests ahead but on the strength of this performance, he must surely be the man to fear. The only slight worry for Irujo came in the penultimate play of the match when he twisted his ankle. However, the injury is not thought to be serious and he hopes to resume training on Monday or Tuesday. He has until 3rd May to prepare for his quarter final against Sebastian Gonzalez, to whom he lost last year at the same stage. Gonzalez will need to muster all his resources if that result is to be repeated.
Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-20, 4-20, 4-22.
Friday 17th April
23:30 (CET) LEIZA v PATXI RUIZ (third round)
Live on ETB-Sat
Preceeded at 22:10 (CET) by a doubles match between Bengoetxea VI/Mendizabal II and Gonzalez/Laskurain
Sunday 19th April
18:05 (CET) BELOKI v AGIRRE (third round)
Live on ETB-Sat
Preceeded by a doubles match between Berasaluze IX/Goni III and Olazabal/Pascual at 17:00 (CET)
The other championship match this weekend, that between Martinez de Irujo and Xala on Saturday, will not be shown on the web.
Photo from: Asegarce
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: Agirre, Beotibar, Laskurain, Manomanista, Pelota Mano, Tolosa
Monday 6th April
AGIRRE beat LASKURAIN 22-7
The citizens of Tolosa did not seem to have match enthusiasm for this encounter and the 200 afficionados might have been forgiven for wishing they had spent their evening elsewhere, for this was a parade rather than a match. The scoreboard tells the tale of a game which was all about Imanol Agirre.
Agirre was Aritz Laskurain’s superior in every possible department. The Bizkaian raced to a 5-0 lead as the game began, his only lapse coming in letting his rival level the scores. Laskurain showed some promise in winning five straight points and then working his way to 7-7, but it was to end there for the man from Soraluze as Agirre stormed to the victory with 15 unanswered points. Agirre served solidly and defended excellently, turning every position in which he found himself into one of attack. Laskurain had no answer to the unbreachable wall his opponent built with every shot. Relentless pressure told as he committed a total of seven unforced errors to Agirre’s one. Laskurain missed this championship last year through injury and he barely made more impression here.
Agirre will progress to the second round where he will meet Penagarikano at the same venue on Saturday.
Scoring sequence: 5-0, 5-5, 7-5, 7-7 and 22-7.
Source: Diario Vasco
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: Labrit, Manomanista, Pamplona, Retegi Bi, Urberuaga
Saturday 4th April
URBERUAGA beat RETEGI BI 22-19
Julen Retegi was the undisputed favourite at Labrit on Saturday as he faced Xabier Urberuaga in the first round of the Manomanista Championship. Retegi surely hoped he could take his first footsteps on the path of his great father, Julian, who won this tournament an astonishing eleven times between 1980 and 1993 but in his way stood Urberuaga, who had obviously committed to mind the adage that it is never over until the fat lady sings.
From the outset, Urberuaga, winner of the second division title in 2007, showed that he would be no pushover for the young pretender and he was soon up 8-3. However, Retegi showed his growing maturity in bringing his impressive armoury of resources to bear, and took the match to 8-8, then 12-8 and 19-8. Especially impressive were his left arm and his serve. His father, playing botillero, must have been well pleased.
However, things were to change in emphatic style. Urberuaga found his rhythm and never looked back, playing like a man possessed to pass and crush the dreams of his rival. Retegi managed only one further point as Urberuaga cruised past him at barely a canter to reach victory at 22-19. It was a triumph based on hard work, sweat, toil and determination for the man from Aulesti, who also exhibited a veritable pick and mix of shot making prowess. Retegi for his part looked one dimensional; he was impressive with his left but power elsewhere seemed lacking. Still, there are many years ahead for the talented son of his famous father, and surely much success too. Urberuaga will face Aritz Begino next Sunday for a place in the third round.
Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 5-2, 5-3, 8-3, 8-12, 9-12, 9-18, 17-18, 17-19 and 22-19
Despite the fact that we are still recovering from the tension of the pairs final on Sunday, the Manomanista Championship (singles) is upon as already. There is no rest for the pelotaris or the fans! The first round begins on Friday 3rd April (today!) and the opening match, as well as that on Sunday, will be shown on the web via ETB-Sat (select ‘Pelota Mano’ from the ‘Live Pelota’ link in the bar at the top of the page).
Friday 3rd April
Zeanuri, 23:40 (CET) BERASALUZE IX v EULATE
This will be preceeded by a doubles match: 22:30 (CET) TITIN III – BEROIZ v ARITZ LASA – GONI III
Sunday 5th April
Astelena, Eibar, 17:00 (CET) PASCUAL v ZUBIETA
Followed by a doubles match: 18:00 (CET) MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – GALARZA VI v LASA – BARRIOLA
The manomanista matches which are not being shown on the web are as follows:
Saturday 4th April, Pamplona: URBERUAGA v RETEGI BI
Sunday 5th April, Tolosa: AGIRRE v LASKURAIN
On Tuesday 31st March, the opening presentation of the 2009 Manomanista Championship will take place at Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa. The selected competitors from both the empresas will be presented to the media in the presence of representatives from BBK, the sponsors of the tournament, and LEP.M.
The defending manomanista champion is Oinatz Bengoetxea, the 24 year old from Leitza who won his title by defeating Abel Barriola, who also hails from Leitza, on a day when the Navarrese town ruled pelota. Barriola will be back this year in an attempt to turn the tables. Other likely favourites include Juan Martinez de Irujo and Aimar Olaizola, who face each other in the pairs final on Sunday.
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: Bengoetxea VI, Koka, Manomanista, Pelota Mano, Zubieta
On Saturday at Labrit, Juantxo Koka from Asegarce and Aitor Zubieta from Aspe will play each other to decide which will gain a place in the draw for the Manomanista Championship. Koka is no stranger to the individual championship, having been runner up to Mikel Goni in 1997. Last year however, he lost to Aritz Begino at the second stage. Zubieta was also an early loser last year, going down to Martinez de Eulate in the opening round. Each will relish his chance to reach the championship and gain the chance to do better this year. The match will not be webcast but will be broadcast on Telecinco in Spain.
In other news, reigning Manomanista champion Oinatz Bengoetxea was in imperious form on Monday in Tolosa. The 24 year old from Leitza was the best performer on show as he and Oier Zearra defeated fellow Asegarce pair Patxi Ruiz and Inigo Leiza 22-10.