It will not have as much presence as on other occasions because the pandemic has changed everything and the traditional summer fairs have been forgotten for the moment, but the ball will go faithful to Bilbao during the next few days. Although Aste Nagusia has been suspended, fans of this sport will have a diverse offer at the Bizkaia fronton from today until Saturday. The stands of the venue in the capital of Biscay will have a Maximum capacity of 600 spectators after the measures decreed by the health authorities.
The calendar opens this afternoon with the semifinals of the Villa de Bilbao Pala Tournament, the last of the Pala Tour circuit that has hosted this atypical summer. After the appointments of Zalla, Plentzia, Armintza and Deba, Necol and Ibargarai have already added enough points to ensure their presence in the final, but there are still two tickets up for grabs and five candidates with a chance to get them. Gaubeka, Fusto and Ibarguren, among the forwards, and Gordon and Ibai Pérez, among the defenders, have chances of being in the top clash depending on the results they obtain in this event. The skein will begin to unravel today (7.30pm). Fusto and Urrutia will have as rivals Ibarguren and Ibai Pérez, in the first duel, and Gaubeka and Ibargarai will measure their forces against Necol and Gordon, in the second.
Tomorrow (8:00 p.m.) the modality will change. The female hand will take center stage with the final of the Kutxa Labor Team Tournament. The squad made up of Amaia Aldai, Iera Agirre and Arrate Bergara will face the team made up of Olatz Arrizabalaga, Irantzu Etxebeste and Nora Mendizabal. Two games will be in the Cuatro y Medio and everything indicates that the Biscayan forwards will have a special role, while one will be in pairs. The pelotaris will have to adapt to a new court after the championship has had the Uranzu de Irún fronton as the only venue so far. They will also play for the first time with the public in the stands, which will be an added incentive.
Olaizola II and Zabaleta face Altuna III and Imaz on Friday, fighting for a place in the semifinals
On Friday the eleventh day of the CaixaBank Mixed Couples Tournament will open at Bizkaia with the duel between Olaizola II-Zabaleta and Altuna III-Imaz. Both combinations are in full fight for one of the places that give access to the semifinals, so the clash acquires a special role. The Guipuzcoans are second in the classification with seven points and, in case of achieving a victory, they would stay very close to their first goal, while the Navarrese have one less and are tied with two other combinations, so a victory seems essential to avoid complications. In fact, they will start with a certain favoritism for the chair due to the power that the Etxarren defender has and the security that Goizueta’s forward transmits, but with Altuna III against him and the regularity that his teammate is able to offer, everything is possible.
The ball offer will close on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) with the final of the Villa de Bilbao professional shovel tournament in which it is very likely that the last two places are at stake for the final of the circuit, which will take place on September 5 in the Gallic town of Saint Geours de Maremne.
Semininals of the Bilbao Professional Shovel Tournament (7.30 pm) Fusto-Urrutia against Ibarguren-Ibai Pérez and Gaubeka-Ibargarai against Necol-Gordon.
Final of the Kutxa Women’s Labor Tournament of handball by teams (8:00 p.m.). The squad made up of Amaia Aldai, Iera Agirre and Arrate Bergara is measured against the one made up of Olatz Arrizabalaga, Irantzu Etxebeste and Nora Mendizabal.
Eleventh day of the CaixaBank Mixed Couples Tournament (7.30pm). Olaizola II-Zabaleta in front of Altuna III-Imaz. In the match that will open the festival, Zabala-Erostarbe will play against Arteaga II-Ibai Zabala.
Final of the Bilbao professional shovel tournament (7.30pm).