Upper Darby, PA – PAS Giannina is making its first appearance and the Kings their 4th in a row, having beaten the Revolution and the undefeated Outlaws yesterday. Will it be a sweet sensation for PAS or a repeat for the Kings? That’s the question we will have on our minds until next Thursday night when the PGBL crowns the champions of the leagues eleventh season.
PAS Giannina jumped out to a thirteen point lead midway through the first half, before the Revolution came alive and cut it to five. Vasilis Nasis was not present during the first half, and it showed. The Rev’s seemed off tempo and trying to find a way to match up with PAS Giannina who kept attacking inside the paint. They worked the boards hard with George Pantzaris’ relentless effort.
As the first half ended, PAS Giannina was up nine points and never really looked back. Evan Tsilkidis of PAS gave a terrific performance again, as he led all scores, with 28 points. Final Score: PAS Giannina 77, Revolution 67.
Game two was undoubtedly the showdown matchup. Last years Champs, the Kings had come into the playoffs with a break-even record (5-5). They struggled all year to get their players to show. And when they did, it seemed like they had lost their way. But these Kings are relentless. They’ve been to the PGBL championship four years in a row, and 5 of the last seven years. No team in the league history has a record of visits to the championship like these guys. “I’ve looked around my office, and I see a lot of second place trophies,” said Laz Kalemis of the Kings. Until last year, when they finally brought home a championship. And last night, they took on the unstoppable and unbeaten Outlaws.
The Outlaws had a perfect 10-0 season, and it seemed that the Kings would have to play a perfect or near perfect game. Guess what? They did. Everyone contributed in the scoring. Four players scored double figures, and the defense was solid. Big Jim Armenakis played the baseline on offense and defense superbly and managed to score 16 points. At halftime, the Outlaws had climbed ahead by a score of 33-26. But the former Kings MVP, Nick Veronis came alive. Along with Bill Zonios and Alex Veronis, they turned in a perfect second half controlling the offensive attack with quick fast breaks and a tight defense.
The Outlaws had never been caught in this position all season long. Their star players, George Vlahos and Laz Mackrides got little help from the rest of their team who seemed flat on offense and unable to get to the bucket. By the time they decided to go to a man to man defense, late in the game it was too late and did not affect. The Kings had climbed out to a fourteen point lead, and proved again, why they are one of the best teams in PGBL history. Nick Veronis led his team with 23 points as they advance to the championship next week with PAS Giannina. Final Score: Kings 81, Outlaws 67.