Manomanista Group B: the Final Reckoning

Apologies for the lack of full reports this week; I was unable to watch either of the matches and have since then been run off my feet!

This past weekend saw the conclusion of the Manomanista group stages. Group A reached its conclusion the week before, with Martinez de Irujo and Olaizola I taking the semi final slots, and this week it was the turn of Group B. Xala had already booked his place in the last four, but the second berth rode on Saturday’s game at Labrit between Patxi Ruiz and Retegi Bi. The winner would progress while the loser would kiss the competition goodbye. Patxi Ruiz it was who qualified, beating Retegi Bi 22-14. Retegi had the best of the early exchanges, taking a 4-9 lead against an opponent who looked wracked with nerves. However, Ruiz changed his approach, abandoning the volleying game he had previously adopted. His newfound speed wore the younger pelotari down, as he was forced to chase back repeatedly. Ruiz will now face Martinez de Irujo in the semi finals, where he will have to up his game to a major degree.

The other match, in Bergara on Sunday, saw the in-form Xala beat Iker Arretxe 22-16, in a game he did not have to win. The match was hard fought, and Arretxe did himself credit in the fight he took to Xala. The Asegarce player found himself in the competition only as a substitute for the injured Olaizola II, and while he lost both games he played (the other against Retegi Bi), he showed much promise as well as great character. Xala’s performance was not as dominant as might have been expected, but the Aspe forward is the player of the year so far, and looks like the most serious rival to Martinez de Irujo for the overall prize. He will first have to overcome Asier Olaizola in the semi finals.

The dates and venues for the semi final matches were announced today and are as follows:

XALA v OLAIZOLA I, 17:00, Saturday 5th June at Labrit, Pamplona

MARTINEZ DE IRUJO v PATXI RUIZ, 17:00, Sunday 6th June at Astelena, Eibar

 Source: Asegarce, here and here

The first semi final will be held at Labrit

The first semi final will be held at Labrit

Image from: Diario de Navarra, by Jose Carlos Cordevilla

10 thoughts on “Manomanista Group B: the Final Reckoning

  1. Pingback: Tiffany

  2. Igor

    No need to apologize Tiffany, all your readers know this is a blog and just for fun, so we should be really thankful for what you do.

  3. Pingback: Basque news eitb

  4. Jack

    Thanks for all the info, Tiffany. I watched the Paxti Ruiz v Retegi Bi match and the change in tactics by Paxti was really evident. He (or his mgr.) had called a time out at 4-6, but he went out and lost the next 3 points, so another time out. After that, everything was to keep Retegi buried at the 7 line or further back. I counted at least four times Paxti had straightforward kill shots from the 3 line or thereabouts with Retegi 10 to 20 feet behind him, yet Paxti still went with the high and deep shots. Wore the kid out and he crumbled under the power and strength of the assault.

    1. Tiffany Post author

      Thanks for that Jack! As I say, I was out all weekend so didn’t see the match so had to rely on Asegarce for some basic information, but your commentary is most valuable! It’s good to see Patxi getting some success, although I don’t hold out much (if any) hope for him against Irujo….. Where are you from?

  5. Javier

    Hey Tiffany!
    Amazing be reading in english about basque pelota. Congratulations for your blog.

  6. Jack

    Madison, Wisconsin. I played a lot of American four wall handball many years ago, but discovered your blog through links at EIB, after I discovered the many types of Basque Pelota via my discovery of Jai Alai (Cesta Punta). I pretty much regularly watch the singles matches on EIB sat on Saturday, and on Sunday when I can. Doubles matches don’t interest me quite as much yet. I also like to watch the replays of matches that are on Wednesday mornings (although it is very early in the morning here) to see the other codes (have seen Pala and Cesta Punta Partidos so far).


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