The following is a repost from Mr. PGBL’s (Philadelphia Greek Basketball League) article from Phillygreekball.com. Mr. PGBL is the unknown voice of the areas premiere Greek Basketball league. Each week, he gives you a game by game breakdown of what could and what did happen. With an insightful and honest perspective, players and fans alike get the latest. This past week, Mr. PGBL broke down the rankings of the PGBL for the upcoming 2014-2015 season, that is scheduled to open it’s doors on Thursday October 9th at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church in Upper Darby. For more information about the upcoming evening, its games and even to keep up with the GOYA rankings and schedule, its all visible and up to date, at Phillygreekball.com.
Please keep in mind, these are only the opinions of one man. These rankings will change weekly according to my assessment of each team’s performance. Good luck!
- Wolfpack – Winning a PGBL record 15 straight games will never go unnoticed in my eyes. The Wolfpack lost a great player in Nicko Balis but replaced him with last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, 6’5” Lou Sarris Grau. This could be the strongest starting lineup in PGBL History with former 2x league MVP George Vlahos, Lou Karapanagiotides and Chris Voutsakis still in the mix. The Wolfpack also have the potential to be the deepest team in the history of our league with player such as George Fisfis, Aris Haritonidis, Mike Pappas and Nicko Papatsiaras. This team is powerful, but will they have the chemistry it takes to become champions? Will Yioti Kasapis be able to keep all his players happy with playing time? The talent, size, speed and basketball iq is all there, but will the teamwork be? I think it will be, mainly because of the maturity and leadership of point guard Louie K. He knows how to keep talented troops together because he’s done it before. This is my pick for 2014-15 PGBL Champions.
- Rip City – Here we go, the mad Greek scientists have all gotten together for another experiment. This one looks promising, but we won’t know until February. Rip City has added 2 big names, former league MVP Jim Armenakis and Nicko Balis to accompany last year’s core players of Pete Kyriakodis, Stef Grigorakakis, George Mashas and Chris Sarianos. They are now officially a legitimate contender and it would not surprise me if they went all the way, BUT I wouldn’t be surprised if they have chemistry issues either. In my opinion, this could go either way. One thing I am sure of is Rip City will win games. There is too much talent on this team for them not to succeed. I have them going 10-3.
- Danny’s Boys – I’m hearing rumors of Pete Kathopoulis being injured but I can not confirm it. I’m also hearing that Pete, the reigning League MVP and Scoring Champion may not be playing at all this year. We will soon find out, but if this is true it changes things drastically for Danny’s Boys. I’m ranking them at 3, assuming Kathopoulis WILL play and knowing they’ve lost big man Grigori Rallatos. Their other core players including Kosta Nikolos, Zeke Economides and Dimitri Poulimenos all remained with the team and will have their work cut out for them this season with the absence of Grigori. We all know Kosta, Zeke, and Dimitri are strong rebounders and will do well patrolling the paint, even with the loss of size but will this be enough to send them back to the finals? Will these guys be able to defend their title?
- Kings – At 44-17 over the last 4 years, the Kings have the recipe to win. But they have not yet found the recipe for a Championship. When you think Kings, you think Bill Zonios, Foti Giannopoulos and Chris Kourelias but with the Kings’ latest point guard addition, you will soon be thinking Niki Veronis. This guy was a standout talent at our latest PGBL Summer Tournament and those who watched him play know he will make an immediate impact. Speaking of impact, Jim Kemmerer will have the opportunity to make one as well. Freshly departed from the Spartans, Kemmerer will have a different role with this team. I’m excited to see how he embraces that. The loss of Lou Sarris Grau and the Fisfis brothers will hurt the Kings but it will be up to former league MVP Bill Zonios, Foti, Chris K and Laz Kalemis to lead like the veterans they are.
- Sixers – Former 2x League MVP Chris Vasiliou will be back this year and as a fan of basketball and a true fan of the league, I’m excited. Chris will be accompanied by former 2 time champion and Finals MVP Chris Lolosides, multiple Defensive Player of the Year winner George Pagiotas and Captain John Vasiliou. The Sixers have also acquired the help of former Mavs player, Mr. Make Em Pay himself, Eddie Bekas. The Sixers have a championship pedigree and winning in their blood. But will that be enough to carry them deep into the playoffs? Their first game against Rip City will tell us a lot about what to expect for this season.
- Revolution – On paper, these guys are a top 3 or 4 team, but who knows with these guys? There are too many questions surrounding them like… What kind of season will Kada have? Will Vasili Nasis be playing? The team chemistry seemed off last year, what should we expect for this year? One fact remains, the Revolution have won more games (54) than any other team in PGBL history. Mr. John Skordos has been around for every one of them and as a leader, I expect him to guide his team to an 8-5 record. That’s my prediction, with or without a full roster.
- Warriors – The Warriors have improved, and I expect to move them up in the power rankings very soon after opening week, but for now I have to place them at 7. Will Galiatsatos and Nick Karalis are the leaders, the catalysts and the captains of this team, therefore, it starts and stops with them. But a little help in the paint from re united Warrior Pete “Tank” Pappas will sure make a difference. Will and Nick both need to average 15-20 ppg in order for this team to be effective offensively. This means they both must be aggressive with the ball and without. Some outside shooting help from Nick Dinoulis and Chris Lolosides would be much appreciated I’m sure.
- Spartans – The loss of Jimmy Kemmerer will hurt the Spartans, but not to the extent most might think. Especially with the addition of PGBL rookie Elias Apsis. Apsis is a solid basketball player who showed us his abilities at the Summer Tournament and looks like a good team player. The Spartans kept guards Andrew Milonas and Henry Haralambides which will definitely help the Spartans to my prediction of a 5-8 record. That’s 1 more win than last season, and another improvement. The Spartans will be in the playoffs.
- Mavs – Look who’s back! Glad to see the Mavericks rejoin our league and hopefully they’re here to stay. This roster is made up of a random collection of guys, some of which I do not know. I will rank them here for now and hopefully they can show me something good in their first game against the Warriors. Good luck and welcome back.
- Hellas – Out with the old and in with the new! Formerly known as FOB, Team Hellas is a product of captain George Pantzaris. George had his hands full last year, carrying the load in many aspects of the game but the addition of Tom and Dimitri Zikos will be of great help this season. Good luck to these guys and hopefully we can celebrate some victories.