Friday 4th March, Amorebieta
TITIN III – BEROIZ* beat ARRETXE II – IBAI ZABALA 22-6
Mikel Beroiz stood in for Inigo Pascual on Friday, and helped Titin to an extremely valuable win over another pair of substitutes, Iker Arretxe and Ibai Zabala, who have no hope of making the last four. The Aspe pair looked like an established partnership, and moved with unity of purpose towards an easy win, in which they were never remotely troubled. Both players were leagues ahead of their opponents, who proved unable to exert any pressure at all. As a contest, this was a non-event, but many aficionados surely revelled in an excellent and cool display of pelota from the victors. Titin and Pascual now lie in fifth, one place out of the qualifying spots, but they are level on points Gonzalez and Laskurain one place above them, so everything is to play for.
Scoring sequence: 4-0 / 4-1 / 10-1 / 10-2 / 15-2 / 18-3 / 18-4 / 20-4 / 20-6 / 22-6
Sunday 6th March, Eibar
BENGOETXEA VI – PATXI RUIZ beat GONZALEZ – LASKURAIN 22-18
This was always likely to be a closely fought game, given the similarity in fortunes of these two pairs in the championship thus far, and so it proved as the advantage swung back and forth throughout. Gonzalez and Laskurain held sway early on, but Oinatz Bengoetxea was instrumental in the Asegarce duo’s resurgence in the second half of the match, as he turned the tables on Gonzalez in expert fashion. He finished with a whopping fifteen winners. The defenders were evenly matched; Laskurain played a more involved part in the game, but Ruiz was excellent when called upon. The winners now sit third, level on points with Olaizola II and Begino in second. Gonzalez and Laskurain are a further point back in fourth.
Scoring sequence: 0-3 / 1-3 / 2-3 / 2-5 / 5 / 9-5 / 9-7 / 10-7 / 10 / 11 / 14-11 / 14 / 14-16 / 16 / 16 – 21 / 18-21 / 18-22
Monday 7th March, Tolosa
XALA – ZABALETA beat OLAIZOLA II – BEGINO 22-21
Tolosa witnessed the shock of the week. Had Xala lined up with his normal partner, Barriola, they would have been the favourites, but with Barriola injured, the young and inexperienced Zabaleta stepped in. Aspe clearly wanted to give him a test, safe in the knowledge that the star pair had qualified anyway, and he did not disappoint, helping to condemn the former leaders, now in second to a fourth straight defeat. It took Zabaleta a while to settle, but once he did, there was little stopping his pair. Xala was majesterial form, putting thirteen Winters past his opponents. With Barriola back and healthy, it will take much to stop this pair. Despite their recent meltdown, Olaizola and Begino still sit second, thanks to their six straight wins at the start of the tournament. The odds are that they will be safe.
Scoring sequence: 0-1/1/3-1/3-2/6-3/8-4/10-5/15-11/18-14/18/19/20/21-20/21/21- 22
Tuesday 8th March, Tolosa
BERASALUZE VIII – APRAIZ beat MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – MERINO II 22-18
Pablo Berasaluze and Alexis Apraiz will struggle to make the semi finals, but this victory has at least given them the chance. The red pair of Juan Martinez de Irujo and David Merino looked the better almost throughout thanks to the play of Irujo and the hesitancy of Apraiz. However, at 15-18 down, Berasaluze took the game into his hands, unleashing a barrage of left handed hooks to condemn Irujo to a bit part. The blues scored seven points unanswered to take the tie and keep their hopes alive, though they lie second from bottom. Irujo and Merino are one place, and one point, above in sixth.
Scoring sequence: 0-2/4-2/4-3/6-3/6/10-6/10-11/15-11/15-12/17-12/17-15/18-15/18-22
|PAREJA||JUG.||GAN.||PERD.||T. FAV.||T. CON||COEF|
|1||XALA – BARRIOLA||10||8||2||216||147||+69|
|2||OLAIZOLA II – BEGINO||10||6||4||197||186||+11|
|3||BENGOETXEA VI – P. RUIZ||10||6||4||187||179||+8|
|4||GONZALEZ – LASKURAIN||10||5||5||191||174||+17|
|5||TITIN III – PASCUAL||10||5||5||190||186||+4|
|6||MTZ IRUJO – MERINO II||10||5||5||168||183||-5|
|7||BERASALUZE VIII – APRAIZ||10||4||6||180||189||-9|
|8||OLAIZOLA I – BELOKI||10||1||9||119||214||-95|