The Basque telecommunications company Guuk and Markina-Xemein puntist Jon Zabala ‘Bullet’ present the “Zesta Punta Guuk Experience” initiative, which will start on February 26 in Bilbao. For several months, different frontons from Euskadi and Navarra will host this traveling experience that seeks to bring the basket to the new generations and thus promote this sport at the level of play and fans. With the “Zesta Punta Guuk Experience”, Guuk and Zabala want to support the resurgence that punta has been experiencing in the Basque Country in recent years.
Through different activities, the professional defender who won the last edition of the Jai Alai Winter Series, Jon Zabala, will introduce the youngest to the secrets of practicing with the basket. They will carry out ball-wall coordination games, shooting and jumping tests and, if they are encouraged, they will even be able to play a game with the puntista. The “Zesta Punta Guuk Experience” will visit Bilbao, Gazteiz, Donostia, Pamplona, Gernika and Durango between February and May. It is an initiative open to all audiences from 8 years old who want to participate. To sign up, it is necessary to do so through the website www.guuk.eus/cesta-punta/, since places in each session are limited.
Jon Zabala is very excited about this initiative: “I contacted Guuk because I heard his announcement of the fastest fiber on the radio and immediately the speed of the top basket came to mind. I wanted to do something with them and together we have created this beautiful project with which we want to contribute our grain of sand to this resurgence that the punta basket is currently experiencing. It is a sport that is in my blood, which has experienced low hours, but which, nevertheless, is now gaining weight again. On this tour I want to teach people, especially the most txikis, what the punta basket is and its history, how to shoot with the basket and how we train for this sport on the fronton. And we are going to do it in a close, fun and practical way, with different activities so that the people who participate get a general idea of how the top basket works”.
For his part, the general director of Guuk Juanan Goñi adds: “In the genesis of Guuk, respect for tradition, the connection with what is ours and ours and the passion to share who we are, which marks our character, are fundamental. We believe that Jon Zabala unites all these values as a puntist and also the sport of basketry itself. We believe that, with this initiative and through the figure of Jon, we can contribute to bringing something as typical of our culture as the punta basket back to the front line. But, for this to happen, it is necessary to connect with the youngest, transmit to them first-hand the passion for the basket, the history behind this sport and the beauty of the speed of the ball, and thus promote the quarry and the hobby to guarantee its continuity. This is what we want to achieve with this tour.”
The starting signal will be on February 26 at the Frontón Club Deportivo Bilbao. The following stops will be: Gasteiz (March 12), Donostia (March 26), Iruña (April 23) and Durango (May 21), although it is not ruled out taking it to more frontons. They will be 2-hour Sunday sessions, in which Jon Zabala will talk about the history of the basket tip, its rules and its peculiarities and then he will move on to practice: “We will play games with the ball, we will practice with the basket and, according to the level of the participants, we will try to make a party. The punta basket is a difficult sport at first, but with these sessions we will bring the attendees closer to basic notions so that they know what this sport is about and how to play it”, says Jon Zabala.
Juanan Goñi adds: “We have to thank the good reception that this initiative has had among those responsible for the frontons where we are going to be with since they have opened the doors for us from the first minute. It shows that we are all working in the same direction, that we want to do our part so that the top basket has generational relief and that we do not want a sport that is so ours to disappear ”.
About Jon Zabala “Bullet” (The bullet)
He was born in Markina-Xemein in 1988 and is nicknamed “Bullet” (bullet) for the speed with which he throws the ball on the fronton. The son of a professional pelotari, he lived his childhood in Florida watching his father play as a puntista on the West Palm Beach fronton. There he had his first basket and began to enjoy this sport and the culture that surrounds him. However, due to the pelotaris strike, the punta basket suffered a severe blow in the US and he had to return to his native Markina-Xemein, where he began training at the local punta basket school and then at that of Berriatua. At the age of 19, he made his professional debut and, despite the fact that his dream was to play in the US, he got the opportunity to compete as a professional in the Philippines. A year after being there, in 2010, he returned because sportingly he did not meet his expectations. After several years, in which he almost abandoned the idea of going back to being a professional and going to do ‘the Americas’, the opportunity arose to play in the Dania fronton, in Florida. He closed the business that he had in his hometown and left everything to go fulfill his dream. There, he enjoyed competition at the highest level for 4 years. However, a difficult time for immigrants came during the term of Donald Trump and his visa was not accepted, so he was forced to return home. After six months struggling to get a new visa and be able to play again in Florida, he gave up his dream and rebuilt his life in Markina-Xemein.
Two years ago, thanks to the Jai Alai Winter Series in Gernika, key to the resurgence of the punta basket, he returned to competition at home and, furthermore, won the tournament, which opened the doors to new competitions, fulfilling his dream of play at the highest level in front of a fans dedicated to the pediments.
Guuk is the new Basque telecommunications service operator “by and for the people here”, which was born with a clear, simple offer, at fair prices and forever and with the vocation of being the operator with the most satisfied customers in the Basque Country and Navarre. Guuk bases its differential element on being the only local operator with its own fiber optic and mobile telecommunications networks with which it covers practically the entire Basque territory. Guuk is an industrial project born in the Basque Country that generates wealth and employment in the Basque Country and Navarra. All Guuk Fiber + Mobile rates offer a speed of 600Mb Symmetrical.