Upper Darby, PA – It had to be the most exciting evening of the year to watch PGBL basketball. A miraculous shot in game two will be remembered for years, as it arguable decided the outcome for whom will be in the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League championship next week.
The gym was filled with players, fans and many from the community. The first game was more like a warm up match for folks to mingle and grab a slice of spanakopita. Well get to that in a minute. But it was the 8:30 match up, everyone had been talking about all week they had come to see.
In game two of the semi finals, the community witnessed a remarkable comeback by the Wolfpack against the Kings, which fell behind by as much as 17 points in the second half. But a comeback was inevitable for the hungry and passionate pack. They even took the lead by three with just five minutes to play.
But a fluke shot by Fotis Giannopoulos of the Kings changed the outcome of the game and solidified their journey to the league Championship. With approximately a minute to play, Giannopoulos was fouled while working a shot inside the paint. Spun halfway around during the infraction, he threw the ball up, high into the air. Jaws dropped and eyes fixed on the ball that looked more like a home run hit during a baseball game. Where was this ball going?
And like a scene out of a movie, the ball seemed to float in slow motion nearly hitting the sealing of the gym. It returned to earth and dropped dead center through the hoop, striking down the Wolfpack effort. The crowd was stunned and dumbfounded by what had transpired. A roaring Giannopoulos jumped, pumped a fist and struck hi-fi’s with his teammates.
Giannopoulos then complete the three point play with a foul shot, giving the Kings the lead and sealing the team’s fate. The Kings had earned the trip to the league championship . The Wolfpack played a remarkable game and showed a lot of determination by coming back from such a large deficit. They will have to look on next week and regroup for next season. The miracle shot by Giannopoulos and the entire game, will surely be a memory talked about for years to come. Nick Veronis of the Kings led all scoring with 30 points and shot 10 for 12 from the line.Final score: Kings 93 Wolfpack 84.
In game one, Danny’s Boys proved once again why they are still the champs and a force to be reckoned with. They dominated Rip City from start to finish with their commanding offensive attack and speed. The first few minutes saw Jim Armanakis battle on the boards to keep his team close. But Rip City was also playing without two key players in the lineup. That front line would have made the game a bit closer, but would have likely been nothing more than that.
None the less, it appears that Danny’s Boys can turn it on at will and in many different directions. On this evening, Tom Poulos took the reigns and stood out, as he made several key plays both on offense and defense. His scrappy and lightning fast maneuvers kept Rip City on their heels. Blocked shots, passes and sticking key buckets made his performance a stand out. But the jewel of this team is Pete Kathopoulos, who on this night looked sharp and focused. His gliding shot was on throughout the evening. Kathopoulos dropped several three pointers and was nearly perfect from the line. There were no surprises here, as the Boys easily cruised into next week’s championship game, with a near perfect season record. Pete Kathopoulos lead all scores with 38 points and was 12 of 13 from the line. Final score: Danny’s Boys 82, Rip City 63.