Ball: Sweet waves for Laso in the Uranzu

The manomanista champion will seek a place in the final against Peña II on Sunday in Elgeta. / F. of the Hera

Artola presents less opposition than expected and paves the way for Bizkarreta’s team to the semifinals of the San Fermín Tournament on four and a half

Joseba Lezeta

Unai Laso is still riding the wave. Yesterday in the Uranzu of Irun he surfed smoothly, without frights. The sea remained calm. Iñaki Artola, in charge of roughening the waters in the Manomanista champion’s debut in the San Fermín Tournament on 4:30, gave up the goal as the minutes passed. He didn’t really upset the favourite.

The one from Alegia, in need of good results given the competition that prevails in Baiko’s forward squad, presented less opposition than was intended and provided greater facilities than is required today to hold down a Laso on a roll, full of confidence for a long time months and with a packaging of the figures.

Artola added the first goal with a hook. The long exchange of 2-2 was also his. But after taking a 2-3 lead, he suffered in his flesh and in the electronics Laso’s first shot, nine goals. He had already escaped 11-3 in a quarter of an hour of play. Every time Artola looked at the marker, he verified that only the red square grew. The blue one was still stopped, as if it had suffered a breakdown.

Laso later managed that income, helped by the facilities of the opponent. He closed in on Artola 11-5 and was stopped again by a missed hook from distance. After 14-5 came the best goals of the alegiarra. He forced the one from Bizkarreta to request a break at 14-7 after committing a pass in the rally. He cut his deficit down to five at 14-9. However, he was later diluted between plays in which he sold, the rival’s successes and an ending with too many errors.



  • Game time
    46 minutes and 12 seconds.

  • balls to good

  • so many serve
    Laso, 5. Artola, 3.

  • service faults
    Laso, 1. Artola, 1.

  • You spend four and a half
    Laso, 1. Artola, 0.

  • so many at stake
    Laso, 9. Artola, 4.

  • so many lost
    Laso, 2. Artola, 7.

  • Highlighter
    0-1, 2-1, 2-3, 11-3, 11-5, 14-5, 14-9, 20-9, 20-11 y 22-11.

  • Scores of ten or more balls
    five (one from Laso and four from Artola

  • exit odds
    100 to 60 in favor of Laso. 40 to 100 below.

  • Bottlers
    Jon Mariezkurrena lent his advice to Unai Laso, while Mikel Artola took care of his brother Iñaki.

  • incidents
    good atmosphere in a packed Uranzu with about 750 spectators. Court rides were sold. At the break of 18-9 an espadrille fell onto the field. Its owner did not dare to claim it before the end of the festival.

“I felt good,” Laso pointed out once the quarter-final tie was over and he got through to the semi-finals. «I had completed only one training session in the distance and it was a bit strange for me. It’s hard to get into the groove when you switch from tag team matches to four and a half matches. It’s different, faster.”

Peña II will be his opponent tomorrow afternoon in Elgeta, where the pass to the semifinals of the Navarrese Four and a half will be at stake. “He’s strong,” says the manomanista champion. «I have seen him well in the opening act for couples». Both have the same recovery hours, 48, to fine-tune their machinery. The man from Tolosa suffered a small cut on his left thumb. “It’s nothing,” he confessed. The drops of blood on his pants gave him away. He finished well in the hands.

Laso’s game has acquired the stature of great pelotaris. He hardly makes any mistakes and on those rare occasions he reacts immediately, without losing his head. He worked the hook at the time of the auction. He perfected a tough one from frame three at 11-5. He also successfully used the two right walls in its two versions, air and boat. He defended well. He is complete.

packed in the stands

The manista summer returns to normal after two years of capacity restrictions, masks and fear of the pandemic. The Uranzu is witness to that change. He presented a full house with around 750 balls. With all seats occupied, Baiko put a handful of rides up for sale, so some spectators followed the matches on their feet.

Irun is a traditional square on July 1, the last day of the San Fermín festivities. The ball is still present in people’s plans and entries of this caliber predict a good response from the public in upcoming commitments through towns such as Errenteria, Ordizia, Azpeitia, classics in the summer calendar.

Ezkurdia beat Peio Etxeberria 22-16 and got into trouble in the final

Joseba Ezkurdia suffered a lot last night in a lively frontón court in Sopela to defeat Peio Etxeberria 22-16 and return six years later to the final of the San Fermín Tournament at four and a half. The one from Arbizu will be at the Labrit on the morning of July 7 thanks to a final streak of seven goals with which he managed to get out of the pothole in which he had entered when the one from Zenotz raised a 9-3 and a 15-11 adverse to get ahead 15-16. Ezkurdia hit a two-wall on his feet after backing up to put up 16-all. Hard pressed, he finally found the pause and order that had been lacking for a few minutes in which he hovered over his head the fear of defeat.

They exchanged numerous errors in a tough but not good match of 62 minutes and 268 good balls.



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