This weekend sees the eagerly awaited clash between the two outstanding tournament favourites, Olaizola II – Beroiz and Martinez de Irujo – Barriola. So far, the whole competition has pointed towards an eventual final between these two, who seem head and shoulders against the opposition. Both are unbeaten, and the rivalry at the fabulous Bizkaia fronton will be intense.
The non-televised Pairs matches this weekend are between Titin III – Merino II and Bengoetxea VI – Apraiz (Logrono, Saturday) and Berasaluze VIII – Albisu and Aritz Lasa – Zubieta (Tolosa, Monday). In the Promocion competition, Olaetxea* – Aretxabaleta play Gorka and Arruti (Logrono, Saturday), Urrutikoetxea – Otxandorena* play Jaunarena – Merino* (Bilbao, Sunday), and Tainta – Argote play Mendizabal III – Ladis Galarza (Tolosa, Monday).
Injury problems abound. Arretxe II had hoped to play this weekend in the wake of his ball to the head on Friday, but he requires further rest and is replaced by Ekaitz Saralegi. Untoria is replaced by Mendizabal II tonight due to hand problems, which also afflict Iza, who is replaced by Inaki Otxandorena. Also with hand problems are Cecilio, who gives way to Miguel Merino, and Lemuno, replaced by Mikel Olaetxea.
Friday 20th January, Azpeitia
22:05 (CET) OLAZABAL – LARRINAGA v RICO IV – MENDIZABAL II* Promocion Pairs (Mendizabal II replaces Untoria)
Followed by XALA – LASKURAIN v SARALEGI* – BEGINO Pairs Championship (Saralegi replaces Arretxe II)
Sunday 22nd January, Bilbao
17:00 (CET) GONZALEZ – PENAGARIKANO v EZKURDIA – PASCUAL
Followed by OLAIZOLA II – BEROIZ v MARTINEZ DE IRUJO – BARRIOLA Pairs Championship