Asegarce have announced the signing of two new pelotaris, Iker Tainta (Barañaian-Navarra) and Alvaro Untoria (Nájera-La Rioja). Tainta plays his first match on 25th June in Pamplona, while Untoria will make his debut on 2nd July in his home town.
Meanwhile, Arretxe II has re-signed with the empresa for the next two years, and Oteiza has renewed for six months. Penagarikano, whose contract is about to run out, is still in talks.
Three players will not have their contracts renewed. Aratz Mendizabal leaves after eight years with the empresa. In that time he won the second tier championships in both Pairs (2005) and 4 1/2 (2006). Inigo Diaz, second tier 4 1/2 champion in 2007, leaves after six years. The Asegarce bosses are reportedly unhappy with his progress since his debut in 2005. Inaki Eskudero also moves on. He made his debut in 2003, and was runner up in the second tier pairs championship in 2005, 2008 and 2010. He will remain active, joining Garfe 11, where he will play alongside the likes of Koka, Capellán, Mikel Goñi, Fernando Goñi, Eugi and Eulate.
Aratz Mendizabal (27, Zaldibia) has signed to stay with Asegarce for another year, and Mikel Olaetxea (25, Lizartza) for a further two. Olaetxea won the 2008 Second Tier Cuatro y Medio crown, Mendizabal having won it previously, in 2006. Mendizabal has also been a Second Tier Pairs champion, winning the title in 2005 with Aritz Begino.
Saturday 21st March
BERASALUZE IX – URBERUAGA beat MENDIZABAL I – IBAI ZABALA 22-6
In front of a capacity audience in Amorebieta, Asier Berasluze and Xabier Urberuaga were crowned champions in the second tier pairs competition on Saturday. The Aspe pair totally outclassed the Asegarce partnership of Aratz Mendizabal and Ibai Zabala. Zabala played a solid match but could not dent the armoury of 27 year old Bizkaian Urberuaga. The latter gave invaluable support to his attacking partner Beraslauze who used speed and guile to both outwit and out-hit Mendizabal and was especially deadly with his right hand and in his serve. This was a first pairs triumph for the victors, who have both previously won the second tier manomanista title, Beraslauze in 2006 and Urberuaga in 2007. Urberuaga has the added pleasure of going to the top, for the time being, of the manista.com rankings.
Image from: http://www.gara.net/Repository/Imagenes/Pub_3/Issue_1457/p045_f01.jpg