Monthly Archives: October 2010

Cuatro y Medio Quarter Finals on ETB Sat

Friday 29th October, Balmaseda


Followed by DIAZ v URRUTIKOETXEA Cuatro y Medio Quarter Final

Sunday 31st October, Urretxu


Followed by PATXI RUIZ v ARITZ LASA Cuatro y Medio Quarter Final

To watch, go to

The weekend’s other quarter finals are on Saturday (the much anticipated tie between BENGOETXEA VI and BARRIOLA) and Monday (BERASALUZE VII v ARRETXE II). For updates, visit Pelota Live.

Cuatro y Medio Week 2 Round-Up

There were five matches in the Cuatro y Medio first round this weekend, and they served up some memorable pelota, notably from Iker Arretxe, who upset the odds, and a white hot Pablo Berasaluze.

Friday 22nd October, Sodupe: ARRETXE II beat XALA 22-14

Iker Arretxe pulled off the coup of the first round on Friday, condemning big name Yves Salaberry to an early exit in Sodupe. The 25 year old from Valcarlos in Navarre moved his more illustrious opponent around the court with ease, and nailed him wide with expert assurance. He managed 12 winners to 2 errors, while Xala’s 11 winners were tempered by 6 mistakes. It was a night to erase from the memory for the Manomanista runner up.

Saturday 23rd October, Pamplona: PATXI RUIZ beat OLAETXEA 22-20

In form Patxi Ruiz made the quarters in a tight encounter against Mikel Olaetxea, through hard graft and toil. He dominated the early exchanges but a mid-match wobble allowed Olaetxea a life line, which he took with both hands. However, Patxi showed the nerve and steel which have made him a winner this summer to come through unscathed, by a two point margin.

Saturday 23rd October, Gernika: BERASALUZE VIII beat OLAZABAL 22-3

Pablo Berasaluze was the most emphatic winner of the week, thrashing Mikel Olazabal with no recourse to mercy. The forward from Berriz was superior in all areas to his younger opponent, and sealed another win for Asegarce in a weekend when Barriola was Aspe’s only success story.

Sunday 24th October, Eibar: URRUTIKOETXEA beat ZUBIETA 22-12

First year pro Mikel Urrutikoetxea took the considerable scalp of Pairs Champion Aitor Zubieta in the first game of the Cuatro y Medio double header at Astelena. The 21 year old looked at ease against his more experienced opponent, hitting many apparently easy winners and finding excellent lines and angles. Zubieta was forced to work hard for everything he could get, and the young talent deserves his place in the quarter finals on merit.

Sunday 24th October, Eibar: BARRIOLA beat SARALEGI 22-13

Abel Barriola, the favourite for this match, was made to battle for half of the encounter by Ekaitz Saralegi. Barriola found himself down to the Asegarce forward at 11-13 but from that juncture hit the afterburners, flying to 22 and a place in the last eight against local rival Oinatz Bengoetxea, so devastating in his first round demolition of Beroiz last week. That will be a tie to savour.

The draw for the quarter finals is now complete and is as follows:

Friday 29th October, Balmaseda: DIAZ v URRUTIKOETXEA

Saturday 30th October, Pamplona: BARRIOLA v BENGOETXEA VI

Sunday 31st October, Urretxu: PATXI RUIZ v ARITZ LASA

Monday 1st November, Eibar: BERASALUZE VIII v ARRETXE II

Berasaluze made short work of Olazabal

Berasaluze made short work of Olazabal

Image from El Correo

Pelota on ETB Sat, Friday 22nd October

Friday 22nd October, Sodupe


Followed by: XALA v ARRETXE II Cuatro y Medio 1st round

There is only Cuatro y Medio Championship match on ETB Sat this weekend, that between in Yves Salaberry and Iker Arretxe, in the Bizkaian town of  Sodupe, with the former the clear favourite. There are however four other first round games taking place. Tomorrow (Saturday), Patxi Ruiz plays Olaetxea in Pamplona, and Berasaluze VIII takes on Olazabal in Gernika. On Sunday, Eibar is the scene of two intriguing matches, with Barriola playing Saralegi and Zubieta facing Urrutikoetxea. Visit Pelota Live for updates, and call back here next week for a report.

Can Iker Arretxe tame Xala?

Can Iker Arretxe tame Xala?

Image from: Noticias de Navarra by Iban Aguinaga

Cuatro y Medio: Week 1 Round Up

Three games took place in the first round of the 2010 Cuatro y Medio Championship at the weekend. Two matches went to form, although in one the margin of victory was larger than expected, and the third produced a surprise.

In Urretxu on Friday, Aritz Lasa shaded 2010 debutant Lemuno in an error strewn match, to take his place in the last eight, where he will play Patxi Ruiz or Olaetxea. At 19-8, it appeared that the forward from Gipuzkoa would win with ease, but to his credit, his inexperienced rival fought back to 22-17, and leaves the competition with his head held high.

Gernika saw the first upset of the competition as Inigo Diaz trumped Asier Olaizola 22-8. The superiority of the underdog was never in question as he led 2-0, 13-2, 16-4, 20-8 and 22-8. Diaz will now play either Urrutikoetxea or pairs champion Zubieta.

Also on Saturday, Oinatz Bengoetxea, still flaunting his white hot summer form, demolished Mikel Beroiz at Labrit. The former Manomanista champion dominated the game and never allowed his younger opponent any room to move, dispensing the biggest thrashing in the competition since 2003, when Berasaluze VIII beat Inaki Larralde by the same margin. Oinatz struck ten winners to only one error while Beroiz managed just two winners, a paltry tally when set alongside his six errors. The victor has sent a clear signal of intent, and will now play either Barriola or Saralegi in the last eight, with the confidence of having recently swept the former aside on the way to the Torneo del Nitro title in Zalla.

The remaining first round matches take place from Friday to Sunday, and I will publish broadcast information when it becomes available.

Inigo Diaz produced the surprise of the week

Inigo Diaz produced the surprise of the week

Image from El Correo

Pelota on ETB Sat, 15th-17th October: Cuatro y Medio First Round

The 2010 Cuatro y Medio Championship begins in Urretxu tonight, with a first round encounter between Aritz Lasa and recent debutant Stephane Lemuno. There are two further first round games on Saturday which will not be shown in ETB Sat; Olaizola I plays Diaz in Gernika, and Bengoetxea VI plays Beroiz in Pamlona. For updates on these two matches, visit For a full Cuatro y Medio match schedule, see Asegarce. This weekend’s televised matches are as follows:

Friday 15th October, Urretxu


23:25 (CEST) ARITZ LASA – LEMUNO Cuatro y Medio Round 1

Sunday 17th October, Eibar



To watch, go to

2010 Cuatro y Medio Presentation

On Wednesday, the particpants in the 2010 Cuatro y Medio Championship were named at a presentation in Bilbao. Sixteen players will compete in four pools for a place in the quarter finals:

Group A: Aritz Lasa, Lemuno, Patxi Ruiz, Olaetxea

Group B: Zubieta, Urrutikoetxea, Olaizola I, Diaz

Group C: Xala, Arretxe II, Berasaluze VIII, Olazabal

Group D: Saralegi, Barriola, Bengoetxea VI, Beroiz

Awaiting the winners in the last eight will be the four seeded players based on last year’s results:

Gonzalez (defending champion), Martinez de Irujo, Titin III, Retegi Bi.

The championship begins on October 15th in Urretxu with the final being held on 12th December.

Gonzalez aims to defend his title

Gonzalez aims to defend his title

Image from: Noticias de Navarra, by Mikel Saiz