Mano pairs: Pablito and Begino edge Gonzalez and Barriola

Saturday 31st January

Pablo Berasaluze and Aritz Begino secured a nailbiting triumph in Idiazabal on Saturday night to bring them an extremely welcome point in the battle for semi final places. In a close game where the lead was never more than four points, the Asegarce pair took the initiative with the score on 21-21 to take the win by the narrowest possible margin. Berasaluze was the player of the evening, displaying the form which attracted so much excitement last summer. He covered the fronton like a terrier and hit with precision throughout. Begino too had a good match, going head to head with Barriola and coming off slightly better, despite some good play by the 2008 Txapela de Oro. Gonzalez’s play at times lacked intensity and he was not as impressive as in former matches, allowing Berasaluze too much room to hit winners, which he did with increasing skill as the night progressed.

As five pairs vie for four semi final berths, every point from here on in is crucial. After three weeks of play, Gonzalez and Barriola seemed metronomic and untouchable but the status quo has been turned on its head. With two successive defeats they need to watch their backs. Berasaluze and Begino meanwhile are hanging on tenaciously to their semi final spot and this hard won point will have buoyed them no end.

Scoring sequence: 0-2, 1-2, 1-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-6, 6-6, 6-10, 10-10, 10-12, 13-12, 13-13, 14-13, 14-15, 17-15, 17-16, 18-16, 18-18, 20-18, 20-21 and 22-21.

Pablo Berasaluze

Pablo Berasaluze

Source: Diario Vasco

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