Kings 74 vs. Spurs 54

The Kings are my number one ranked team for a reason, they do everything well, and they’re the hottest team in the PGBL. With six straight wins, the Kings were led tonight by Bill Zonios (20pts). Zonios usually strikes from outside, but tonight he scored most of his points from getting into the paint and hitting mid-range jumpers. Chris Kourelias is an acrobat. With 16 points, 14 in the second half, Kourelias always finds a way to get to the basket and brings oohs to the crowd with his pretty finishes. Foti Giannopoulos, the most consistent player in the league this year scored 14 points and was like a brick wall tonight in front of the rim with multiple blocked shots. Great play from the King’s bench, as well as Chris Giannopoulos, scored a season-high 13 points.

Kosta Nikolos led the Spurs tonight with 20 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Nikolos hit one 3 pointer in the first half and scored the rest of his points spinning in the post for hook shots. Vas Rousseas, with 15 points, had a good second half as well. Rousseas hit 3 three pointers and did his best to bring his team back, but tonight the Spurs were flat. Zeke Economides had a good night offensively with 11 points, including his usual big rebounds. The good news for the Spurs is, the Terps lost to the Warriors tonight, so the Spurs are still alone in that last playoff spot, up one game on the Terps. Overall the Spurs committed way too many turnovers to have a chance tonight. To win against the good teams, you must protect the ball.

Did you know? Vas Rousseas and Kosta Nikolos have both met the 1,000 career points milestone this season. Becoming just the 6th and 7th players to do so. Congratulations guys.

Did you see? Laz Kalemis hit a 3 pointer near the end of this game. Maybe his first career 3?

Game ball goes to Bill Zonios.

Warriors 77 vs. Terps 72

In a long, long game. Probably the longest game we’ve had in a while (without overtime), the Warriors get their 3rd straight win. Led by George Vlahos with 26 points, Vlahos has now put himself among the MVP candidates along with Foti and Bill from the Kings, Grammenos and Armenakis from the Sixers and Pete Kada from the Rev. Vlahos started the season very slowly but has picked it up a notch, especially with these last three wins. Niko Papatsiaras had the best game of his season with 15 points. He did a good job in the paint, drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line, along with his usual strong rebounding. Nick Karalis, also with 15 points, needed a game like this for his confidence. Karalis has been having a quiet season but the 3 three pointers he drilled tonight may be what he needed.

The Terps still have a chance to make the playoffs but need to start winning now. But the winning would have to be put on hold for now. Led by Niko Balis, one of the most talented offensive players in the PGBL with 26 points, the Terps fought until the very end. Coming back from a double-digit deficit to cut the lead to 5. Pete Kyriakodis did his usual 15 points, a few steals, and pesky defense. George Fisfis also had a solid game with 11 points but the story of the night for me was the Terps poor free throw shooting. 19-35 to be exact. I think that’s around 53-54 percent. Not going to get the job done. The only reason the Terps kept it close is that these guys fight and have a heart. They won’t stop until the buzzer sounds.

Game ball goes to George Vlahos.

Revolution 54 vs. Sixers 51 GAME OF THE NIGHT

With the Rev being dropped in my power rankings to 3rd, I wonder if they came into this game motivated. Let’s not forget power rankings mean nothing when the playoffs come, and the Rev are still in 1st place in the standings. Vasili Nasis looked light on his feet tonight with 16 points, doing battle down low with Jim Armenakis and making some nice fast break layups. Offensively it wasn’t pretty for either team, but Pete Kada’s outside shooting was definitely a bright spot, especially late in the game. Kada scored 22 points including two clutch 3 pointers that ended up being daggers, but there was one quiet star of the night that put a cap on this win. That was Niko Nasis. Nasis played this whole game not scoring a point, but with the game on the line, Sixers with the ball down by 3 with just seconds left, Nasis rejected a 3 point attempt, securing the W for the Rev. The Rev trailed by 14 in the first half but showed heart by coming back.

The Sixers have now dropped 2 of their last 3, but it has been a tough stretch. Getting Tony Grammenos back on the floor was supposed to be huge for the Sixers but Tony was not in the groove tonight. Alex Zikos was in the groove for the Sixers, especially from the outside, hitting a season high 4 three pointers and finishing with 14 points. My defensive player of the year did it on both sides of the ball tonight. If you didn’t know this next guy before this season, you should know him now. Jim Voutsinas is arguably the toughest rebounder in the PGBL. Tonight he did more than just rebound, scoring a team-high 18 points from cleaning up down low, and finishing high-low passes from Jim Armenakis (10 pts). Now on the outside looking in, in terms of a first round bye, the Sixers need to keep winning if they want to get one of those top 2 spots. They had several opportunities late in the game to tie it with a three but nothing would go down.

Game ball goes to Pete Kada.

Update 1/6/13

1 – KINGS 9-3
2 – SIXERS 9-3
4 – ARSENIKO 7-5
5 – WARRIORS 6-6
6 – SPURS 6-6
7 – TERPS 5-7
8 – MAVS 3-9
9 – GRIZZLIES 0-12

Warriors 61 vs. Mavs 44

When all is said and done at the end of this regular season, the Warriors will be in the playoffs. And they will be scary for whoever they face in the first round. The main reason, these guys have been playing together for many years. Yes they’re young, but they have plenty of playoff experience, including a championship. George Vlahos begins a late MVP push with 22 points, and if I had to guess, I would say over ten rebounds, most of which came from him powering his way to the basket to follow his own shots. It was a Karalis night tonight as Spiro(11pts) and Nick(15pts) combined for 7 three pointers! Well done with the outside shooting from a couple of contributors that can make a huge difference.

Gus Haralambou, Zois Gasis, and Dino Thomazos scored 13 points a piece tonight in a tough game against the defending champs who are battling desperately to secure a playoff spot. The Mavs were short handed tonight without their leading scorer Dimitri Poulimenos but managed to stay close for most of the game. They were in striking distance until the end, but some sloppy turnovers and poor possessions made the difference. If the Mavs eliminate these turnovers and treat their late game possessions better, they will find themselves in a position to win, more often than not.

Game ball goes to George Vlahos.

Arseniko 44 vs. Revolution 41

This game was low scoring but very exciting. There was a lot of up and down play with hustle and fight. Unfortunately a handful of missed layups and turnovers from both teams but on this night Arseniko was top dog. My star of the evening for this team was Chris Voutsakis. Chris scored 15 points but probably had just as many rebounds… and the rebounds were all pulled in with authority. Lou Karapanagiotides also had a good game, especially in the second half, where he scored all of his 11 points. Lou did a good job getting to the basket and either making a short drop off pass or finishing himself. Now two games over .500, Arseniko is getting closer to clinching a playoff spot and will face the Warriors next week.

The Rev have now lost two straight games, and 3 of their last 5. This all after starting the season 7-0 and sitting atop my power rankings for most of the season. They won’t be 1st in my rankings for this week, but the good news is, the power rankings don’t matter. Only the standings do, and they’ve done enough, so far, to remain in first place. Gus Rombos lead the team in scoring tonight, but it seemed like these guys struggled to get into any type of rhythm. At times the Rev looked flustered by Arseniko’s man to man defense and looked like they were forcing their way into the paint. Very quiet games for Pete Kada and Kosta Pavlidis is never a good thing, especially when it happens in the same game. The Rev have a HUGE game against the Sixers on Thursday, and with three teams all tied with a 9-3 record, every game is a big one.

Game ball goes to Arseniko’s defense.

Sixers 55 vs. Spurs 46

No Tony Grammenos again tonight, but no problem says Jimmy Armenakis. Jim scored 25 points and once again was deadly from 3 points land. Armenakis’s improved play lately puts him in my MVP race, along with his teammate Grammenos. Jim Voutsinas scored 11 points and gave the team his usual energy and hustle on the boards. Voutsinas has also been stepping up lately, even playing some guard when needed. And speaking of the guard, Alex Zikos has caught my eye with his defense. With a quiet year defensively from the three time Defensive Champ George Pagiotas, Zikos has stood out from the rest of the league with his steals and pesky defense. Alex Zikos is officially my pick for defensive player of the year, and we should all recognize him. Big game for the Sixers on Thursday against the Rev and boy I can’t wait to see it.

This night is one to forget for the Spurs. They started slow, finished faster, but not fast enough. Kosta Nikolos scored 17 points on four deep three pointers we all know he is comfortable shooting. Vas Rousseas was scoreless in the first half but scored nine late in the game to help the Spurs make a run which would ultimately not be enough. Ari Raptis scored 12 points and helped pick up some of the scoring load with some timely buckets, but he, along with the rest of the team turned the ball over too much to get a win. Now at 6-6, the Spurs are clinging to the final playoff spot. With the Terps right behind, and a game against the number 1 ranked Kings on Thursday, the Spurs better bring all they have.

Game ball goes to Jim Armenakis.