Mr. PGBL’s Corner
Spurs 70 vs. Kings 62
There is an old saying that goes… .”Playoffs are a whole new season”. The Spurs sure are making the best of these 2013 playoffs! First a big win over Arseniko, now an even BIGGER win over the #2 ranked Kings… impressive to say the least! The Spurs started off sluggish allowing the Kings to score the first 8 points of the ballgame, however, they responded with a 29-15 run of their own to take the lead 29-23. It stayed even closer going into the half. During the 2nd half the Kings took a commanding 10 point lead but once again the Spurs fought back to regain the lead and ultimately lock up the victory… .earning them their ticket to the Finals. Leading the way in scoring once again for the Spurs was Kosta Nikolos with 24 points, 14 of which came in the 2nd half. The rest of the Spurs starters also got into double digits in the scoring column as well… .Vasili Rousseas (14 points), Ari Raptis (12 points), Zeke Economides (10 points) & Niko Pappas (10 points). The Spurs look to earn their biggest and final win of the year in next week’s finals against the surging Sixers.
Sometimes getting the Bye and too much rest is not a good thing. The Kings had not played a game in 18 days and it showed on the court. This was just not the Kings basketball we were used to seeing during the regular season. Poor jump shooting, slow defensive rotations & getting outrebounded were the recipe for defeat for the Kings in this contest. The Kings started off each half very well but cooled off each time. They beat the Spurs in both regular season matchups, however, they were unable to make it 3 in a row last night. Leading the way for the Kings were their triple threat of Chris Kourelias (19 points), Bill Zonios (18 points) & Foti Giannopoulos (13 points). The offseason starts today for the Kings and knowing commissioner Bill Zonios, the Kings will be back next year stronger & more focused than ever. It’s going to be an interesting offseason in Kingsland.
GAMEBALL – Kosta Nikolos
Sixers 62 vs. Revolution 56
Two of the oldest, proudest & winningest franchises in PGBL history met last night for a battle to see who moves on to play the Spurs in the Finals. The Sixers led throughout this one, but not by many points. It seemed the Revolution were always about 2 to 6 points behind, never going away. The first half was a defensive chess match with both teams playing excellent versions of the 2-3 defense… ..the Sixers a bit spread out… ..the Revolution a bit more compact. All jumpers were contested by both squads and the halftime score was only 24-19 in favor of the Sixers. The 2nd half was much more open & higher scoring. Tony Grammenos (23 points) led the way for the Sixers with several clutch 3 balls. Grammenos had a tough last few regular season games but his game is back up to an MVP-caliber level in the playoffs. He seemed to drop in key buckets in the 2nd half every time the Revolution started a comeback. Also providing the scoring for the Sixers were big man Jimmy Armenakis (14 points), guard Tony Spirocostas (10 points) & Jimmy Voutsinas (9 points). The Sixers are back in the Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years and seem more focused than ever to get that 1st title for the franchise. I can’t wait to see Sixers/Spurs next Thursday at 8pm!
The mighty Revolution fought hard and were never out in this game. They had beaten the Sixers both times they faced each other in the regular season… ..but both games were very close contests. No one expected each team to run away with this one. The Revolution seemed to have a difficult time getting to the basket against the Sixers tough defense and playing from behind the entire contest will wear even the best teams down. In the final minutes of the game and only down by a few points center Vasili Nasis (7 points) fouled out and that really put a strain on the Rev going up against the tall lineup of the Sixers. MVP-candidate Pete Kada put on an impressive shooting display in the 2nd half scoring 19 of his 26 points, including several key baskets after the Rev lost Nasis. However, it was too little too late for the Revolution as they fell to the Sixers. The Rev had a fantastic regular season with their 13 wins, but got an early exit from the postseason. I look forward to seeing what moves the Rev make in the offseason as they prepare for the upcoming 2013-14 PGBL season.
GAMEBALL – Tony Grammenos