“I understand that with forty minutes of the game it may not be enough because the tickets are worth money, and that it is not easy for the mayor, but we cannot continue like this.” Jokin Altuna spoke loud and clear after the conclusion of La Blanca’s second semifinal. After the beating that had been given, the man from Amezketa unburdened himself with the material after 758 hits were crossed in more than an hour and a half of the game, the longest of those that have been played so far in summer. And he came from playing another intense duel two days before in Bera with 735 balls in 75 minutes.
From their company Aspe they described what happened in both cases as “a specific event.” “It is true that in Bera it was low but, in general terms, we are happy with the material,” they stated. The one from Amezketa is the one that is accumulating the greatest number of games during the summer season and the workload is significant, “but we have to look at the situation globally. We understand that you may be overwhelmed because the matches have been tough,” they said.
The rivals grow
It is the price to pay for being one of the referents of the ball. He makes a difference and they want him at festivals in many towns because of the attraction of watching him play, so his calendar is packed during this time of year. Due to his quality, he also has to be in all the tournaments, so the work accumulates. “For me, summer is much harder than the rest of the year,” admitted the pelotari.
But from the promoter they understand that other factors come together to explain that the meetings harden. Rivals try to grow when they play against him. They want to beat him. For them it is an extra motivation to face a striker of this caliber. Even more so knowing that Altuna III is jogging and that one of his tricks is to see if he lowers his performance as he accumulates fatigue.
The material has always lost its shine. It is true that there are certain lots that can do it before others. But for several years now, complaints about leathers have been drastically reduced in official tournaments where the stakes are much higher.
The balls like those of the Vitoria tournament are put by the two mayors of Aspe and Baiko without knowing who will be the protagonists of the matches. Only the field is taken into account to avoid suspicions that one or the other can benefit. It is not easy because they have to find a balance so that the shock does not break soon due to excess material and that it does not last too long.
In the last two games, different circumstances have come together that have led Altuna III to raise their voices. But the material has not been the only problem.
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