The couples for the Promocion Pairs Championship, the second tier competition, have been announced and are as follows:
For Aspe: Olazabal-Larrinaga, Jaunarena-Cecilio, Gorka-Arruti, Mendizabal III-Ladis Galarza
For Asegarce: Lemuno-Aretxabaleta, Urrutikoetxea-Iza, Tainta-Argote, Rico IV-Untoria
The greatest loser here is the superbly talented Zabaleta who would have been assured of a spot for Aspe, ruled out at the worst time possible with a broken arm. He is expected to be on the sidelines for three months.
The championship begins this Friday in Eibar and the final takes place on Saturday 28th April.
No luck for the injured Zabaleta
Apologies for the lack of updates in the past week; I’ve been away and rather out of the loop. I reported on Martinez de Irujo and Barriola’s win over Xala and Laskurain on the 23rd December, but the other results from the Christmas weekend were as follows:
TITIN – MERINO II beat ARITZ LASA – ZUBIETA 22-12
OLAIZOLA II – BEROIZ beat ARRETXE II – BEGINO 22-5
BERASALUZE VIII – ALBISU beat BENGOETXEA VI – APRAIZ 22-16
This past weekend, ARRETXE II – BEGINO, having been crushed the previous week, fell again by 22 points to 5 to MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – BARRIOLA. OLAIZOLA II – BEROIZ remain unbeaten, defeating TITIN III – MERINO II 22-15. BENGOETXEA VI – APRAIZ beat ARITZ LASA – ZUBIETA 22-13 and BERASALUZE VIII – ALBISU saw off XALA – LASKURAIN 22-9.
The overall standings can be viewed at Manista.com
The other major news item to come out of the Pairs Championship this week is a hand injury to Aitor Zubieta, who finished his match this weekend in considerable strife. He is a doubt for the next round of matches, but has until 15th January to recover, as this weekend the competition is put on hold for the Torneo Bizkaia de Parejas 5 1/2. This is a format which has never previously been tried. The semi-finals take place this Thursday, and will be between Titin III-Barriola and Martinez de Irujo-Merino II (replacing Zubieta), and Berasaluze VIII-Beroiz and Olaizola II-Patxi Ruiz. The final takes place on Saturday in Bilbao.
In better news for Aitor Zubieta, Aspe today announced that the defender had signed a new contract with the empresa, keeping him on their books until 2019.
Zubieta's new contract may partially ease his injury pain