Saturday 14th February
BENGOETXEA VI – BELOKI beat TITN III – PASCUAL 22-20
Oinatz Bengoetxea and Ruben Beloki last night made it three wins out of three to climb to third place in the championship standings. While the Asegarce pair have overcome their slow start to take their place among the favourites to progress, Titin and Pascual are heading in the other direction; they now lie seventh and should be very worried indeed, especially given their points difference only of +1. They could still qualify for the semi finals but they have not made it easy for themselves.
The Asegarce partnership triumphed not by whitewashing their opponents but through hard work and intensity of effort. Despite finding himself on the losing side, Pascal was the best of the four pelotaris on show. It was Titin who allowed the victors their upper hand; the man from Tricio played without inspiration or spark and as the confidence of the Aspe pair gave way, Bengoetxea pounced. Although the manomanista champion committed six errors, he was able to keep his forward opponent at bay, and together with the solid hitting of Beloki from the back, was able to keep Pascal contained by applying sustained pressure rather than searching for out and out winners. Although the match was a close one, Bengoetxea and Beloki showed impressive composure to take the spoils, turning a 19-20 deficit into a 22-20 triumph.
Scoring sequence: 0-2, 1-2, 1-3, 3-3, 3-5, 5-5, 5-6, 8-6, 8-9, 9-9, 9-11, 10-11, 10-13, 12-13, 12-14, 17-14, 17-16, 18-16, 18-19, 19-19, 19-20 and 22-20.
Source: Diario Vasco