Tag Archives: 2nd Tier Manomanista

Second Tier Manomanista Final: Olaextea comeback breaks Miguel Merino

Saturday 11th June, Logrono


Mikel Olaetxea Balerdi is the second tier Manomanista champion. The 26 year old defeated Miguel Merino 22-18, after a dramatic comeback at Adarraga, recovering from a 9-18 defecit. With the prize at his fingertips, the older Merino brother fell apart. He had swept all before him up until this point, basing his dominance in open play upon the base of a powerful serve, but a short sotomano, ceding the serve at 10-18 proved his undoing. Olaextea never looked back. He attacked fearlessly with both hands, especially his stronger left, and avoided being drawn into lengthy rallies, which he feared may be his undoing. Playing with speed and not a little risk, he reduced Merino to a shadow of his former self, hiding in disbelief behind his towel. The counselling he received from his botillero worked not at all, as the pre match favourite swept all before him.

Olaetxea took the title in 51 minutes and 187 balls, scoring 12 winners to the 8 of his rival. He has now won each of the second tier prizes, having added the Pairs and Manomanista to the Cuatro y Medio he collected in 2008. The top flight awaits.

Scoring sequence: 0-6, 2-6, 2-8, 5-8, 5-12, 8-12, 8-15, 9-15, 9-18, 22-18

Winners/Errors: Olaetxea 12/6, Merino 8/4

Service winners/service errors: Olaetxea 5/0, Merino 4/1

Mikel Olaetxea triumphant

Mikel Olaetxea triumphant

Sources: Diario Vasco, El Correo Image from: La Rioja

Manomanista Second Round Results

Friday 29th April, Ascain


The Manomanista Championship moved to the home town of Sebastien Gonzalez for this second round match, and the local fans expected nothing less than a win for their man, playing under the glowering presence of a gigantic picture of himself. The match was a great spectacle, with strings of marathon rallies, each player aiming to fight the other into the ground. Gonzelez played excellently, but thanks to the skill of the classy and ever improving young Mikel Idoate, the victory eluded him.

The older player, much to the delight of his supporters, started the better of the two. The first point was long and involved, a taste of what was to come, but Gonzalez delivered a statement of intent, seizing it with a brutal gantxo. He proceeded to 3-1 and 4-2 thanks to some solid serving and an error from Idoate, but errors of his own, plus and service winner and a txoko gave his opponent the lead at 4-5. Idoate almost moved two ahead with a near inspired shot into the corner, which he seemed amazed had missed, and perhaps rejoicing in his let off, Gonzalez forged ahead once again, to 9-5. At this point, Gonzalez looked fully in charge. He showed his ability to get past his rival almost any way he pleased, whether to the left, to the right, or over his head.

However, Idoate, sensing the game might be slipping from his grasp, showed his mettle with some stunning play, winning eight points in a row to turn the match on its head. In the point on 9-5, Gonzalez appeared to have him where he wanted him, pinned back and open to the drop. Idoate though, replied with a staggering dos paredes to grab the point for himself. The next point, which he won with an inspired drive to the corner from deep, was no less virtuosic. He proceeded with a service winner and a drop, before running rings round Gonzalez with a txoko followed by a long ball when he was still sprawling by the frontis. When Gonzalez hit low, it was 9-13 and he was visibly demoralised.

Again, however, the momentum swung, as Gonzalez kick started his recovery with an airez, breaking Idoate’s sustained and impressive defence. Thanks in the most part to the strength of his serve and the resulting easy winners, he pegged the scoreboard back to 13-13. The protagonists could not be separated and found themselves tied again at 14 and 15 apiece. Once again, Gonzalez appeared to have broken the resolve of his young opponent, going ahead with a winner from a txoko he barely managed to scrape off the floor. He opened up a three point gap after a long scrap at 18-15, but Idoate would not be bowed. Showing incredible determination and no fear of Gonzalez’s greater experience he stormed back, winning six of the next seven points, and demonstrating the full gamut of winners in the process, to take the tie 22-19. He now plays Asier Olaizola, who is returning from a knee injury, on Saturday, and on this showing, may have the measure of him.

Scoring sequence: 1-0/ 2-1/ 3-1/ 3-2/ 4-2/ 4/ 5/ 6-5/ 7-5/ 8-5/ 9-6/ 9-8/ 9/ 9-10/ 9-11/ 9-12/ 9-13/ 10-13/ 13/ 13-14/ 14/ 15/ 16-15/ 18-15/ 18/ 18-19/ 19/ 19-22

Match time: 55 minutes, with 13 minutes of actual play.

Balls hit: 307

Winners: Idoate 15, Gonzalez 11

Service winners: Idoate 4, Gonzalez 1

Errors: Idoate 3, Gonzalez 7

Talented and determined: Mikel Idoate

Talented and determined: Mikel Idoate

The other Manomanista second round results, in brief, were as follows:

OLAIZOLA II beat MERINO II 22-5 (Saturday 30th April, Labrit) This was a demolition job by Aimar Olaizola, the rampant pairs champion, and David Merino looked resigned from an early stage. There was nothing Merino could do about the dominance of the Olaizola serve, and when he did manage to enter into a rally, he was more often than not sunk by the best gantxo in the game. Olaizola now plays Irujo, in a match up many would perhaps rather see in the final.

RETEGI BI beat URRUTIKOETXEA 22-15 (Saturday 30th April, Amorebieta) Asegarce’s young charge Urrutikoetxea is known for his fighting qualities, and he took the game to the more fancied Retegi Bi in some well contested rallies. However, the Aspe player showed the greater imagination, and proved the better able to deal with the pressure, moving relatively easily into the quarter finals, where he meets Xala.

BENGOETXEA VI beat ARITZ LASA 22-10 (Sunday 1st May, Eibar)This match was a harder fight than the scoreline might indicate. The first part of the encounter saw Lasa holding on gamely to Bengoetxea’s onslaught, but the latter showed himself to be in a different class thereafter, moving unimpeded from 9-8 to 17-8. There was no way back for the underdog, but he gave his many fans, who had made the trip from his home town of Urretxu, much to cheer about with his refusal to throw in the towel.

The quarter final line up now looks like this: OLAIZOLA I v IDOATE (Saturday 7th May, Pamplona), XALA v RETEGI BI (Sunday 8th May, Eibar), PATXI RUIZ v BENGOETXEA VI (Sunday 15th May, TBC), MARTINEZ DE IRUJO v OLAIZOLA II (Sunday 15th May, TBC).

In the Promocion Championship, JAUNARENA beat LADIS GALARZA 22-18, and OLAETXEA beat LEIZA 22-2. ARGOTE  proceeds by default following an injury to OLAZABAL. PENAGARIKANO and RICO IV play today in Legazpi.

Image from Noticias de Navarra

Manomanista first round results

As reported previously, MERINO II beat ALBISU 22-21 on Sunday. Alas I do not have time to write on every match of the weekend, so here is a round up of the other Manomanista first round results in brief.

22/4/11, Pamplona: IDOATE beat BELOKI 22-4 Many pundits believed the young and supremely promising Idoate would beat Beloki, but few would have predicted the scale of the thrashing he handed out to the 36 year old four time champion. Idoate, who is all of 21, dominated the veteran in every facet of the game, suggesting that his time might soon be upon us. However, to progress further, he will need to defeat Gonzalez in Ascain on Friday.

23/4/11, Haro: URRUTIKOETXEA beat BEROIZ 22-18 This must rank as an upset. 21 year old Beroiz has been regarded as Aspe’s champion in waiting for over a year now, so strong and assured is he for his age. However, Asegarce’s Mikel Urrutikoetxea, who is also 21, put paid to any ambitions for this year with a battling performance to fell him at the opening stage. He will now play Retegi Bi in Amorebieta on Saturday, and he must rate his chances.

25/4/11, Eibar: ARITZ LASA beat ARRETXE II 22-16 This was a close match in which there were several ties on the scoreboard. Both played quality pelota, but in the end, Lasa’s strength won the day and Arretxe was forced to concede after a marvellous fight. Lasa will now play Bengoetxea VI in Eibar on Sunday for a place in the last four.

 In the Promocion championship, Ladis Galarza beat Iza 22-10, Argote beat Gorka 22-10, Rico IV beat Cecilio 22-13, and Olaetxea beat Zabaleta 22-18. In the second round, Ladis Galarza plays Jaunarena, Argote plays Olazabal, Rico IV plays Pengarikano, and Olaetxea plays Leiza.

Urrutikoetxea did for the fancied Beroiz

Urrutikoetxea did for the fancied Beroiz

Image from Asegarce

Manomanista Contenders Announced

The line up for the 2011 Manomanisa Championship was announced earlier this week, and the protagonists are as follows:

For Asegarce: Olaizola II, Bengoetxea VI, Urrutikoetxea, Beloki, Arretxe II, Olaizola I, Albisu, Patxi Ruiz

For Aspe: Martinez de Irujo (defending champion), Gonzalez, Beroiz, Idoate, Aritz Lasa, Merino II, Retegi Bi, Xala

The first matches take place this weekend, with Beroiz v Urrutikoetxea and Beloki v Idoate opening proceedings tomorrow. For a full timetable, head to Asegarce.

Photo from Aspe, via Manista.com

The Campeonato Manomanista Promoción will feature:

For Asegarce: Iza, Argote, Rico IV, Olaetxea, Peñagarikano, Ibai Zabala, Lemuno, Leiza

For Aspe: L.Galarza, Gorka, Cecilio, Zabaleta, Jaunarena, Olazabal, Ongay, Merino I

The first game in this competition took place today, and Gorka became the first victim, falling 22-10 to Argote. For the full timetable, again, see Asegarce.

Image from Aspe, via Manista.com

Second Tier Manomanista Final: Aritz Lasa serves his way to glory

Saturday 12th June, Tolosa


Second Tier Manomanista Final

It was no simple matter to pick a winner ahead of Saturday’s final. Mikel Beroiz had the pedigree in the competition, coming into this year’s tournament as defending champion, but Aritz Lasa had had the better championship thus far. The Tolosa faithful turned out with enthusiasm, and the atmosphere at Beotibar was fitting for a final which promised so much. In the ultimate analysis, Aritz Lasa proved the stronger, rendering the younger player powerless to act by means of a rip roaring serve. Lasa’s victory ended a seven year drought in this competition for pelotaris from Gipuzkoa, the last winner from that province being Kepa Penagarikano, in 2003.

The opening spell of the game appeared to signal great things to come for Beroiz, as the defending champion powered to a 4-1 lead, clearly dominant. However, when he allowed his rival into the game by striking too high, taking the score to 4-2, there was a sharp about turn in the colour of the match. Aritz Lasa, perhaps realising his inferiority in the long rally, used his own chosen balls to the maximum of their potential, winning eleven of his twenty two points with service winners. Beroiz resisted manfully, his best spell coming between 4-7 and 8-7, when he defended like a demon, deploying his powerful left arm when possible. He pushed the score on to 10-8, and once again looked to be in a strong position. However, Lasa had much more to give, and in the ensuing whirlwind, turned an 8-10 deficit into a 20-10 lead. The light had been snuffed out for Beroiz, with permanence. In the face of the Lasa serve, Beroiz was never comfortable and was at times utterly swamped. A top defender should have done rather better.

Aritz Lasa’s txapela is the culmination of a superb sustained effort throughout this tournament, for which he had to qualify through a preliminary round. Beroiz, being the 2009 winner, was granted a bye through the early stages but this year failed to live up to his reputation, squeezing through the quarter finals with the help of Retegi Bi’s defection to the main championship, and edging Urrutikoetxea in the semis by the narrowest of margins. He remains, however, a player of the greatest promise for the future, at the age of only 21. But this was Lasa’s day, the biggest sporting triumph of his 26 years, and one that all of Urretxu should savour.

Scoring sequence: 0-1, 4-1, 4-7, 8-7, 8-8, 10-8, 10-20, 13-20, 13-21, 15-21, 15-22.

Duration: 51 minutes

Strikes of the ball: 179

Service winners: Beroiz 3, Aritz Lasa 11

Winners in open play: Beroiz 11 Aritz Lasa 9

Errors: Beroiz 2, Aritz Lasa 1

Aritz Lasa triumphant

Aritz Lasa triumphant

Image from: Gara, Sources: Diario de Navarra, Diario Vasco

Pelota on the Web, 11th-12th June: Second Tier Manomanista Final

After over two months of competition, the Second Tier Manomanista is down to the last two, and the final takes place at Beotibar on Saturday. Of the finalists, defending champion Mikel Beroiz has had the less protracted run to the final, although he has been far from invincible on the way. As last year’s winner, he was granted a bye in the first stage and entered at the point of the quarter final league. He lost his first match heavily, 13-22 to Retegi Bi, who was to leave the tournament to replace Gonzalez in the Manomanista shortly. He then won a tough fight against Oier Mendizabal by 22 points to 18, before losing again in his last group match, to Inigo Leiza, 17-22. He was therefore very lucky to make it through the semis; if Retegi Bi, who won both his games had remained, he would have been out. However, given his chance, he stepped up to the plate, triumphing in a tense match against Mikel Urrutikoetxea, 22-20, to reach the final.

Aritz Lasa had to work much harder to arrive at the final. He was put, my Aspe, through a pre-qualifying round before he could even take his place in the main competition, and came through this my the proverbial skin of his teeth, 22-21 against Merino. In the first stage proper, he found his form and came through easily against Cabrerizo, 22-13. He then won two of his three matches in the quarter final league, against Asier Berasaluze 22-12, and the second narrowly over exciting debutant Lemuno, 22-21. Not for the first time, Lasa sailed close to the wind here. He lost his third game 18-22 to Urrutikoetxea, who topped the group, but this was of no matter. His semi final was against Leiza, who he despatched without too much fuss, by 22 points to 16.

It is no easy task to pick the winner here. Beroiz, being the defending champion and a confirmed top young talent, is the natural favourite, but he has looked far from totally secure in the past few weeks. Aritz Lasa meanwhile has more experience and appears to be building nicely. He is a consistent performer who would be a richly deserving winner. Tune in on Saturday to see the drama played out.

Friday 11th June, Logrono



Saturday 12th June, Tolosa


Followed by BEROIZ v ARITZ LASA Second Tier Manomanista Final

These matches can be seen at https://www.eitb.eus/television/etb-sat


Can Aritz Lasa upset Beroiz?

Can Aritz Lasa upset Beroiz?

Image from: Noticias de Gipuzkoa, by Jose Sampedro

Pelota on the Web, 28th-29th May

There is a break in the Manomanista Championship this weekend before the blue riband tournament resumes with the semi finals next week. The focus therefore turns to the 2nd Tier Manomanista, a chance for young talent to show itself off. Tonight, Inigo Leiza plays Aritz Lasa for a place in the final, while tomorrow, defending champion Mikel Beroiz takes on young 2nd Tier 4 1/2 Champion Mikel Urrutikoetxea, one of Asegarce’s brightest hopes for the future.

Meanwhile, Juan Martinez de Irujo aims to keep himself ticking over ahead of next weekend’s Manomanista semi final against Patxi Ruiz, with a doubles game in Beasain tonight. He will line up against Pairs Champion Aitor Zubieta, just returned from knee surgery.

Friday 28th May, Beasain


Followed by LEIZA v ARITZ LASA 2nd Tier Manomanista Semi Final

Saturday 29th May, Zalla


Followed by BEROIZ v URRUTIKOETXEA 2nd Tier Manomanista Semi Final

All these matches can be viewed online at https://www.eitb.eus/television/etb-sat

21 year old Urrutikoetxea

21 year old Urrutikoetxea

Image from Deia

Pelota on the Web, 7th-9th May: Manomanista Group B

This weekend it is the turn of Group B in the Manomanista Championship to take centre stage. This is of course a group which has been much changed by injury, and Saturday’s match is between the two substitute players, Arretxe II and Retegi Bi. Both, through no fault of their own, arrive at this point with one loss in bag from the first rotation. On Sunday, the two victors from the first round of matches face each other, with Xala the hot favourite. The man from Iparralde annihilated Gonzalez in his first game, while Patxi Ruiz advanced when Aimar Olaizola fell injured. Ruiz was however playing well up until that point, and will surely take the fight to Xala. In addition, there are two matches from the 2nd Tier Manomanista quarter finals.

Friday 7th May, Orduna


23:35 (CET) LEIZA – BEROIZ 2nd Tier Pairs Championship

Saturday 8th May, Pamplona


Followed by ARRETXE II v RETEGI BI Manomanista Group B

Sunday 9th May, Eibar

17:00 (CET) MENDIZABAL II v MERINO 2nd Tier Manomanista Championship

18:10 (CET) PATXI RUIZ v XALA Manomanista Group B

All these matches can be viewed at https://www.eitb.eus/television/etb-sat

Injured Gonzalez out of Manomanista, replaced by Retegi Bi

Aspe have announced that Sebastien Gonzalez sustained an injury to his right leg in his match against Xala on Sunday which will rule him out of the remainder of the Manomanista Championship. Following on from the serious injury to Aimar Olaizola, Gonzalez becomes the second pelotari from Group B to bite the dust. His place will now be taken by Retegi Bi, who had already reached the semi finals in the second tier championship. Retegi Bi’s will be replaced by Merino.

He was taken to the San Miguel Clinic in Pamplona for an MRI scan which revealed a grade I-II thigh injury involving broken fibers. He will be treated initially with rest, cryotherapy and taping. Physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation will follow, and it is hoped that he will return to the fronton in five to six weeks.

Source: Aspe

Gonzalez: on the sidelines

Gonzalez: on the sidelines

Image from: Diario de Navarra, by Eduardo Buxens

Second Tier Manomanista presented in Bilbao

The fifteen pelotaris who will take to the fronton in the Second Tier Manomanista Championship were presented to the media in Bilbao today, at the headquarters of sponsor, Ipar Kutxa. Nine are from Asegarce and Six are from Aspe. They are as follows:

For Asegarce: Argote, Arretxe II, Ibai Zabala, Iza, Leiza, Mendizabal II, Olaetxea, Penagarikano and Urrutikoetxea

For Aspe: Aritz Lasa, Beroiz, Cabrerizo, Merino, Retegi Bi and Zubieta

See here for dates and fixtures

Mikel Beroiz returns to defend his title

Mikel Beroiz returns to defend his title

Image from: Deia