Friday 17th September, Logrono
RICO IV – BEGINO beat GORKA – LASKURAIN 22-21
Despite ending the evening on the losing side, new Aspe pelotari Gorka Esteban had a night to remember on Friday, as he made his professional debut at Adarraga. Gorka, born in Galdakao but raised in Rioja, was visibly nervous from the outset, despite the sterling encouragement of his partner Aritz Laskurain. He admitted after the match that his legs were ‘trembling’, and his opposing forward, Rico, pounced with venom, instrumental in stretching the lead for his pair to 12-5, 17-9 and 20-15. However, when Gorka hit his stride he was an almost unquenchable force, taking the game to Rico and surpassing him. The Aspe pair were clearly now on top, and had it not been for the excellent defence of Begino, the game might have been theirs. The debutant lost by the narrowest of margins, but sent out a clear signal of intent; he looks like the real deal.
Scoring sequence: 3-0, 3-2, 5-2, 5-3, 6-3, 6-4, 8-4, 8-5, 12-5, 12-6, 13-6, 13-8, 16-8, 6-9, 17-9, 17-14, 18-14, 18-15, 20-15, 20-19, 21-19, 21-21, 22-21.
Winners: Rico IV, 12. Begino, 1. Gorka, 13. Laskurain, 1.
Errors: Rico IV, 4. Begino, 0. Gorka, 5. Laskurain, 1.
Source: Diario Vasco
Image from: La Rioja, by E. Del Rio.