The txapela slips on after beating Salaberria (22-11) in a very serious duel in which he opted for the long game and matured his rival
The championship began with a preview, and six games later the promotion Manomanista txapela was worn. At 22 years old, Jon Alberdi touched the sky yesterday at the Labrit pediment in Pamplona. He played the most complicated game with a cool head, opted to prolong the game and had enough patience to beat Iker Salaberria (22-11) who ended up overwhelmed.
The Gipuzkoan traced the script that he brought from home and knew how to perfectly manage the pressure that a clash of these characteristics entails. It was his second individual summit clash. The first had been lost inside Four and a Half. But this one will not be erased from his memory because of the good taste in his mouth it left him. His moment of form was optimal and the confidence that he had been acquiring throughout the competition helped him a lot to not lose the north or get out of line.
Salaberria tried, but immediately found himself with too heavy a ballast on his back that forced him to risk more than necessary and things did not work out for him. The initial 7-0 was a preview of what awaited him. Away from the frames in which he displays his magic, he had to go all out on defense and couldn’t mess up the game. He also didn’t take advantage of the few chances he did have.
He managed to cut his rival’s streak, but he was not successful with the initial play and only managed to score three goals in a row. Overcome the first scare, the man from Azpeitia insisted on his arguments because the result he had obtained convinced him. A second partial of 8-1 was decisive to reaffirm his proposal. With an initial play well crossed the wall, he had the goals in his face, while Goizueta’s man sought to surprise him with a couple of forced hooks that did not find his destination.
After 15-4, he only had to keep his engine cool because the intense heat on the pitch was beginning to take its toll, but the player from Azpeiti wasn’t afraid to extend his goals. A ball to the plate in an attempt to be left wide gave the Navarrese the last chance to enter the match. Salaberria knew it and played it. He had no other. He tried to soften his rival’s morale, sought to get more rhythm with his air game and managed to get close to six goals.
But at this point in the contest, Alberdi was not up for many more concessions and, after a perfect hook, headed for the top spot on the podium. The kick out of him was once again key to giving him the necessary peace of mind when he needed it most. After 51 minutes of play and 264 pitches he raised his arms. Next year he will have the opportunity to play the biggest tournament.