Miami Jai-Alai Opens 2009 Season

Miami Herald Jai-Alai article by Santos Perez

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Miami Jai-Alai opens new season

Posted on Sat, Dec. 27, 2008

Goikoetxea will attempt to tie the all-time Miami record for Triple-Crown championships when the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton opens its 83rd season Saturday afternoon.

A frontcourt player and recognized as one of the best jai-alai players in the world, Goikoetxea has won nine Triple-Crown titles, one behind the retired Michelena. The Triple Crown consists of overall victories and top finisher in singles and doubles.

Goikoetxea will have a better opportunity at the title during the winter season. The 28-year-old Goikoetxea has an abbreviated Miami schedule during the summer and fall months, when he plays in European partido matches.

The 2009 Miami winter roster also will feature backcourt specialists Irastorza and Lopez, who along with Goikoetxea play on the European circuit. Other notable players who will compete in the winter season include Rekalde, Jabi, Lejardi, Erkiaga and Tevin. Tevin is considered one of the top American players.

”Top to bottom the roster is solid and should make for beautiful, competitive Jai-Alai,” Juan Arrasate, Miami players manager and matchmaker, said in a statement.

Arrasate also looks forward to the addition of two players to the Miami roster. Aspitarta, an 18-year-old backcourt player from Spain, will make his Miami debut on Jan. 1, while veteran frontcourt specialist Bereikua, also from Spain, is scheduled to start the season later next month.

The Miami winter roster will be without Arriaga and Art. The former Miami Rookies of the Year have retired in addition to Lopetegui, Aitor and Dezec.

Statistics from the summer meeting will be kept until Dec. 31. Backourt player Chauderon currently leads with 148 overall wins after matches played through Wednesday.

Saturday’s season opening ceremony will feature the traditional players’ parade through the fronton and awards presentation of the 2008 winter champions. The parade and awards ceremony will be during the matinee session.

For information, call 305-633-6400.

– SANTOS A. PEREZ

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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