Scrappy and determined, they came out to play. Both Rip City and Danny’s Boys were ready to do battle, and it sure looked that way. I haven’t seen that much diving for the ball or even flopping around on the floor all year, till these game. Let’s see what Mr. PGBL had to say about last night.
Warriors 51 vs. Spartans 43
The main thing I love about the Warriors is their commitment to each other. These guys have the ability to stick together through thick and thin and they never let up. This toughness has them above .500 now, despite a rough start to the season. Will Galiatsatos, frustrated at times this season, led the team last night with his game high 19 points. Nick Karalis did well drawing fouls and knocking down his free throws with 14 points. The Warriors played good team defense as well, holding the Spartans to just 43 points. A good job of finishing late in the game by these guys as they look forward to a tough game against the Wolfpack in 2 weeks.
Elias Apsis scored 16 out of the team’s 25 points in the second half. Apsis is one of the best PGBL rookies this season and is proving his ability to hit the long ball every week. Unfortunately there wasn’t much more help offensively in the second half which means the Spartans would have to rely on their defense to win the game, but that was an issue. The Spartans have problems playing solid team D and I think this is something to address for the upcoming games. Lets see if they can put the clamps on the Mavs coming up.
Game ball: Will Galiatsatos
Danny’s Boys 58 vs. Rip City 48
Anything between the 20-30 foot range is Kosta Nikolos land. Kosta was firing confidently from long range yesterday with success. Nikolos led all scorers yesterday with 27 points in his best performance of the season. Along with the 3 pointers there were some nice inside moves. He also went 5-6 from the free throw line. Pete Kathopoulis, the reigning league MVP owned the 2nd half though, scoring 17 of his 19 points to help the Boys get some separation and put away Rip City. Danny’s Boys are tied in 1st place with the Kings at 7-1 with a game against the strong Wolfpack coming up on Thursday. This one will be a great game!
PGBL FUN FACT- Jim Armenakis moved into 4th place on the all time scoring list, surpassing 1,500 career points! Congrats on moving up.
Rip City missed the offensive production of Nicko Balis yesterday and didn’t get much help in his absence. Leading the way offensively was Jim Armenakis with 21 points. It’s hard for any team to find an answer for Armenakis’ size in the paint. Doubling is one option, but usually the outside shooters will hurt you. George Armentani is a pure hustler on the court, scoring 12 points and playing some of the best defense we’ve seen this season. One thing that really stood out to me yesterday was the play of Stef Grigorakakis who was held scoreless, possibly for the first time in his PGBL career. The team needs him to produce more in order for them to be at full power. Rip City is now 4-3 and tied with the Sixers for 2nd place in the division. Next game is against the Mavs.
Game ball: Kosta Nikolos
Kings 65 vs. Hellas 51
Again only 5 guys, again a win. This time the Kings were missing Foti Giannopoulos and Niki Veronis but Jim Kemmerer (18pts) and Bill Zonios (17pts) were able to carry the scoring load. It was a sloppy game but Jim Kemerer was playing cleanup for the Kings as he’s been doing all year. A new role with a new team seems to be a perfect fit for Jim and he looks happy winning games. Bill Zonios was on fire to start the game, scoring 8 of the first 10 for the Kings. Zonios looks faster this season and this is helping the team out run their opponents. But my player of the game was Chris Pilirad, one of the elder statesmen of the league yet still a rookie in the PGBL from Trenton, NJ. Chris scored 14 points, controlled the offense at the point and dished out some pretty assists including a no look pass that had even his own players impressed. Great job by the Kings winning their 7th game in a row.
PGBL FUN FACT- Bill Zonios played his all time leading 100th PGBL game last night. Congrats on the longevity!
Hellas fought hard and actually out rebounded the Kings. Demetri Zikos led the team with 24 points from mid range, inside and even beyond the arc. The improved play of Zikos is something for Hellas to build around in the future, if they can manage to “re-sign” him to a long term deal. Hellas has a couple weeks break until they play the Wolfpack right before Christmas. Boy what a gift that would be if Santa could deliver a win.
Game ball: Chris Pilirad