Cesta Punta, the local sport that triumphed all over the world
It filled large frontons in Cairo, Milan, Havana, Mexico, Macao, Shanghai, Miami or Tijuana, as well as Madrid and Barcelona.
Cesta punta is an autochthonous sport of the Basque Country with more than a century of antiquity. The frontons in four continents have witnessed epic matches where the ball can reach a speed of 300 kph. Like fine wine, cesta punta has managed to age without showing its wrinkles. The latest edition of the Jai Alai Winter Series was a complete success.
The Jai Alai in Gernika was once again packed and, more importantly, full of young people. Thanks to all the merchandising paraphernalia, the show is always guaranteed. The pelotaris take the court in the purest NBA style. Lights go out, the spotlights shine on them and a speaker narrates the event. Show must go on, as Freddie Mercury would say.
This summer, whoever wishes can enjoy the spectacle of Jai-Alai in the place it was born.
This summer there are festivals scheduled in Markina, whose fronton is known as ‘Pelota’s University’ from June 18 to July 16. Gernika will take over from June 23 to August 16. Without ruling out for now to extend the range to Berriatua, very close to Markina, and other localities.
Cesta punta has always been very welcome in San Juan de Luz or Biarrtiz. It is a sport which attracted Hollywood actors such as Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Tony Curtis and John Travolta or Nobel Prize winners such as Ernest Hemingway.
Even Orson Welles himself dedicated an episode of his Around the World with Orson Welles to cesta punta.
In the mythical series Miami Vice, Victor Maria Bereikua, a pelota player from Elorrio (Biscay) nicknamed “El Lechuga” appeared in the credits with the number 43, catching a ball with a great leap leaning against the wall. Even cult cartoon series such as “The Simpsons” or an episode of the successful Mad Men, were others who wanted to immortalize cesta punta.
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