Upper Darby, PA – Thursday night’s are huge when it comes to the Philadelphia Greek Basketball league (PGBL). But last night, Sunday, it was as league commissioner John Vasiliou called it “the best game of the young season”.
On Thursday nights at St. Demetrios, the gym is full of fans and friends watching the games, grabbing a bite from the snack bar and reflecting on their week. From next door, in the small hall, kids and dance teachers are heard practicing their moves and occasionally seen peeking in on the league game action. St. Demetrios becomes an intersection for the PGBL and dance practice, where it all comes together.
For the last few days though, the buzz around the league was the matchup that would take place on Sunday night at 9:00 pm. Now it had finally arrived. It was an exciting night to be a basketball fan. Not a sound was heard as you entered the gym. All eyes were fixed on the floor, where two of the best teams, the Kings and Wolfpack were featured in a memorable match up.
A fast past game that saw lots of fast break points, featured two incredible players that lead their teams. George Vlahos (Wolfpack) who scored 39 points, and Niki Veronis (Kings) with 26 points wowed us with their ability to get to the basket and control the attack. Along with their fellow teammates, they kept us focused on a truly wonderful game, that was more exciting than watching the NBA’s Sixers.
Excitement never left the gym until the last minute of play. Like two well oiled machines, placed into high speed (beyond the red), there would be only one that remained running in the end. The other would simply run out of gas or time, and that’s exactly what happened to the Wolfpack. Although the score reflected a ten point victory for the Kings, there was always that threat from the Wolfpack. They even pulled with in 4 points with just a few minutes left in the game.
But with less than one minute to go and the lead having grown to 10, Wolfpack team leader, Lou Karapanagiotides called over to the referees to stop the game.The Wolfpack had conceded, and the loss was recorded (final score: Kings 75, Wolfpack 65). The undefeated season and best ranked team in the PGBL had lost. The Kings ruled the day, and are claiming the crown as the leagues best. Even Mr. PGBL has moved them into the top of the Power Rankings. Many of us are asking ourselves this Monday morning, “who’s the best team in the PGBL?”
What came to mind for me next, was an adage I’ve heard around the league, but never on a Sunday. “On any given Thursday, anyone can beat anyone”. Whether it’s a Sunday or Thursday, the league has never looked more exciting and left basketball fans asking.