Aspe took a calculated risk in sending young and inexperienced Mikel Olazabal to Iscar in place of the injured Sebastian Gonzalez. Gonzalez and his partner Abel Barriola had a flawless record in the championship up to this weekend and were anxious to keep it that way with the help of the 22 year old substitute. However, standing in his way was the formidable obstacle of last years double txapela winner Aimar Olaizola. The promising Olazabal needed to find a way to better him, or at least contain him, if the Aspe pair were to have any chance but Aimar proved both both imperious and brutal. The forward from Goizueta utterly overwhelmed his rival, barely letting him draw breath in a devastating display of control. Under such unbearable pressure, Olazabal committed error after error while time and again, Olaizola demonstrated his merciless precision in closing out points. Barriola tried his best to compensate for the imbalance in forward play by covering as much of the fronton as he physically could but his play lacked the sparkle necessary to pressure the defending champions and Mendizabal was left to operate precisely as he wished. In truth the result could have been far worse for the Aspe pair given the 19-3 lead which their rivals at one point commanded. Two brief periods of score building saved them from total humilation but the result was never in doubt; Olaizola and Mendizabal march emphatically onward while Barriola prays for the return of Gonzalez.
Tomorrow Master Jai Production’s new website will open for the public. The new site can be reached at: http://masterjaitv.com where we can already now find some promotion videos made by the Master Jai film team. The site will gradually be filled with news and photos, and from this blog we wish them all the best and hope that it will be a success.
Picture from: http://www.masterjai.com/aMJW/web/es/index.jsp
Last night was the big show – with the best players in the United States facing off at the 20th Annual Citrus tournament, held at the Orlando Fronton, in Florida. Game 14 was the Citrus Championship Doubles Match, played to 10 straight points (as always).
The teams saved their best for last with the play fast and furious. Winning the game for the second straight year was the team of Recalde and Lopez, who were one of three teams representing Miami Jai Alai and had started out the game with seven straight points for a dominating lead. If there was any doubt as to who has the strongest roster, it was put to rest this evening, with all 3 Miami teams finishing one-two-three. World champion powerhouse Goico, teamed with Irastorza, finished second and Arrasate/Erkiaga came in third. Payoffs were, as expected, very low:
Fourteenth (Doubles, 10 pts.)
5 Rekalde-Lopez 6.20 3.20 2.20
7 Goichoetxea-Irastorza 3.80 2.60
2 Arrasate-Erkiaga 2.60
Quiniela 5-7 $8.20
Perfecta 5-7 $24.80
Trifecta 5-7-2 $58.00
Superfecta 5-7-2-4 $265.20
.10 Superfecta 5-7-2-4 $13.20
There were many great points during the game, which lasted 33 minutes, bringing the capacity crowd to it’s feet on numerous occasions. One involved the team of Solozabal/Oyarbide and the champions.
Recalde/Lopez were at nine points and at match point, and they played very aggressively, throwing big heat and moving the ball all over the cancha – but there were a series of wild saves (including 2 fall down rebotes by Solozabal) which kept the point alive and was finally won by Solozabal/Oyarbide, with the crowd going wild. Although temporarily seated, Recalde/Lopez came back up again against another Dania team – Diego/Enbil, and finally prevailed to claim the title.
All in all, some of the best cesta punta played on the planet.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH:
Without a doubt, Lopez is a monster. He catches everything, can throw all the shots, covers the court well, communicates and motivates his partner, and finally – throws with a terrible ferocity. I don’t know if there is a better backcourter in the world (with all due respect to Irastorza and Enbil) and maybe, just maybe – he might be the best overall player (sorry Goico)
Goico was shut out of the titles (a rarity for him) with Solozabal and Irastorza taking the singles and Recalde/Lopez dominating the doubles.
A great day to be a fan of jai alai!