Upper Darby, PA – The hottest place to be again on Thursday nights is St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church for men’s adult basketball. The evening kicked off with a prayer conducted by Father Gilbert of St. Demetrios at center court. Players circled up, while family members and friends looked on. When the prayer was over, Father Gilbert smiled and said “Play ball”. Minutes later the tip-off launched season 11 of the men’s adult Greek basketball league.
The league enacted its philanthropic efforts yesterday, by hosting a booth space for a representative from “Be The Match”. For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Last night, the booth operated by Betty Kelly, got many guests and players to register and take a swab. The effort is being initiated on behalf of a Greek American Kosta Flevaris, a member of the community. Please take a moment to visit his Gofundme fundraiser. Your help can save his life.
Outlaws: 64, Rockets: 42
Game one featured the Outlaws and the Rockets. Two newly named teams with some experienced and new players on each. Although the score didn’t reflect it, the match was certainly exciting. The Outlaws dropped the first bucket of the night and season, a three-pointer. They pulled away by the end of the first half, 27-18. They showed excellent control on offense and continued to drop three-pointers throughout the evening. Led by Laz Mackrides, who scored 14 points, and was perfect from the foul line, the Outlaws were not to be denied. The Rockets broke into a man to man coverage the second half, that had little effect on the well-rounded Outlaws, who got the win.
Kings: 79, Boardwalk Empire: 72
The eight pm matchup featured last year’s champs, the Kings, and the runner-up Boardwalk Empire. The Kings and Boardwalk Empire played a tight match throughout. The Kings came in with just six players last night, but it didn’t seem to slow them down. Nick Veronis was back after a year off from an injury and led the attack by dropping numerous three-pointers throughout the evening. Veronis and Bill Zonios kept his team ahead the whole night on offense but gave up the boards to Matt Zachariadis of the Boardwalk Empire who kept them in the game. Niki. Veronis (23 points) and Bill Zonios (24 points) combined for 47 of their team’s points. Both squads seemed a little flat on opening night and will need to get the kinks out next week. The Kings held off the Empire and got the win.
Process: 54, Revolution: 50
The closer last night featured the fast-paced Revolution, who made it to the playoffs last year and the newly formed Process. The Process, led by big George Pagiotas, a veteran of the PGBL, also featured a young and spirited squad of former GOYA ballplayers and rookie league players. The speed of the Process was too much for the Revs. The Process launched with a win.