Upper Darby, PA – They did it again. Danny’s Boys took home their second championship last night at St. Demetrios. Playing to a packed gym of basketball fans that spanned four generations, the returning champs of the PGBL, Danny’s Boys and the Kings put on a show of athleticism that kept the folks on the edge of their seats. So how packed was it, co-commissioner, John Vasiliou said it was the biggest crowd they had ever had at a championship game (approximately 250).
There were no seats left along the sidelines so groups of fans rallied in the corners while others stood in the doorway. Philip Nicolaou, President of St. Demetrios was smiling the whole night. The famed bar that sells Spanakopita was sold out by halftime of the big match.
The evening was kicked off by a fun and friendly all star game which was called, play by play by the other co-commissioner, Bill Zonios. Sounding off in Greeklish, Bill joked about shots being taken as players competed in the hour long match. As the gym began to fill, a three point shooting contest, won by Nick Balis had the audience counting off the made buckets.
By the start of the game, the traffic had built up to a point of overflow on the court of GOYA kids, who kept a watchful eye on their favorite players. Minutes later Vasiliou called off the teams as they paraded onto the floor from the corners of the gym. One of the young GOYA members said, “I feel like I’m at the Oscars” watching all the stars come out.
The matchup brought together two very hungry teams. Danny’s Boys were the reigning champs and featured a squad that was led, by MVP, Pete Kathopoulos. While the Kings, were led by Bill Zonios and Nick Veronis. The Kings jumped out to an impressive 12 point lead in the first half. Danny’s Boys was still warming up it seemed. But by half time they had come back to tie the game. The second half momentum saw the Boys pull away, but not to far as the Kings would not go down without a fight.
The Kings certainly had their opportunities. Late into the game with about three and half minutes to play they had the chance to take the lead again, but two consecutive turnovers kept them trying to come from behind. With less than a minute to play, they pulled with in one, but it was not to be. When the buzzer sounded, Danny’s Boys had taken home their second championship in the two years since they entering the league.
Final score: Danny’s Boys 84 , Kings 76.