Saturday 13th February, Pamplona
BERASALUZE VIII – BEGINO beat MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – BEROIZ 22-20
Pablo Berasaluze and Aritz Begino succeeded on Saturday in keeping their semi final hopes alive by becoming the first pair to beat favourites Juan Martinez de Irujo and Mikel Beroiz. Irujo and Beroiz looked at first like blitzing their opponents as they rocketed to a 7-0 lead after only six minutes, thanks to some trademark brilliance from the former and an excellent rebote from the latter. However, Berasaluze stemmed the flow with a txoko to mark their scoresheet for the first time and from there on things became a good deal more interesting. The game developed as an enthralling fight between the Asegarce defender, Begino, and the Aspe forward, Irujo. Begino played as much as he possibly could behind the five line and Irujo sought to grasp every rally within a few strikes. The scoring fluctuated between the sides, dependent on which of these two was able to impose his style of play at any given moment. In contrast, their partners were bit players.
The Asegarce pair, largely thanks to Begino, managed to overturn the Aspe advantage to tie the scores at 9-9. They lagged behind again at 9-13 and Irujo looked to have broken the pressure on his pair when he opened the score up to 18-14. However, Berasaluze, for the first time in the match, chose to impose himself and succeeded. Pablo had earlier struggled to match the stellar display of his partner, looking tense and unable to cut loose, but he pulled winners out of the bag when it mattered most and with the help of a pair of late Irujo errors, the game was won.
Scoring sequence: 7-0, 7-3, 8-3, 8-5, 9-5, 9-9, 13-9, 13-11, 14-11, 14-13, 15-13, 15-14, 18-14, 18-17, 19-17, 19-21, 20-21, 20-22
Source: Diario Vasco
Image from: Noticias de Navarra