Category: Mr. PGBL’s Corner

PGBL Week 10 Game Recaps

Game 1

Kings 1 Revolution 0

(Kings win by forfeit)

Game 2

Warriors 64 Outlaws 55

It was a night for the underdogs in Week 10 of the PGBL season, as the Warriors put together a fantastic defensive performance and a great team effort to upset the undefeated Outlaws, snapping their 18 game regular season win streak right in its tracks. The Warriors put together their best performance of the season in this big upset victory, and they have made a huge step forward towards securing a playoff birth. The Warriors frustrated the Outlaws all night with their physical defense, as the Outlaws, typically an excellent 3 point shooting team, shot less than 20% from beyond the arc, and even as they tried to feed the ball inside, Warriors forwards Elias Kaltsidis and Will Galiatsatos made the Outlaw bigs work hard for every bucket. The Warriors jumped out to a 16 point lead midway through the first half thanks to excellent ball movement in the half-court set, with Galiatsatos and Niko Papatsiaras shooting the ball particularly well to start. The 2nd half saw the Outlaws begin to slowly chip away at the Warriors, as Laz Makrides began to turn on the jets in semi transition. Stephen Thomas also got in on the action when the Warriors sough to double Makrides, as he scored double digits as well. But it seemed like every single time the Outlaws got within 5 points, the Warriors responded. Aris Haritonidis had a fantastic 2nd half performance, scoring on an array of drives and mid range jumpers, while Kosma Kotopoulos scored several huge buckets to stop the Outlaw rallies from getting worse. Finally, as the Outlaws began the game of intentional fouling in an attempt to conserve the clock, the Warriors knocked down their free throws to ice the game and pull off the upset. It was a true team effort from a team like the Warriors that epitomizes it.

The Outlaws had an off night due to their poor shooting performance, but they were also without former PGBL MVP Pete Kada, whose physical presence could have certainly helped against a team like the Warriors. Fortunately, the Outlaws still have the inside track for the #1 seed, so long as they win out. However, it should be noted that an 18 game regular season win streak is something pretty difficult to do in any league, and the Outlaws deserve a tremendous amount of credit for balancing their star power seamlessly through unselfish ball movement and excellent perimeter shooting. This team will still go down in PGBL history as one of the league’s best. We’ll see if they can cap it off in the playoffs with a run to the championship.

Leading Scorers:

Warriors:

Aris Haritonidis: 20 points

Will Galiatsatos: 15 points

Niko Papatsiaras: 14 points

Outlaws:

Stephen Thomas and Laz Makrides: 18 points each

Game 3:

PAS Giannina 55 The Process 50

We were so close to seeing 2 upsets in one night, but alas, it wasn’t to be, as PAS Giannina withstood a great performance from the young Process and came back from 11 points down to secure yet another victory. The Process started the game in a groove offensively, as the pick and roll offense between combo guard Ahileas Yiantsos and forward Alkis Tsitsios was paying huge dividends for the Process in the early going, with Tsitsios scoring double digits in the 1st half alone. Additionally, the Process’ 2-3 zone spearheaded by Chris Dawson’s lockdown defense caused some issues for PAS as they struggled to get going offensively to start. It seemed to be written that the Process would pull out a solid victory, but as time expired in the 1st half, PAS’ star forward Evan Tsiklidis hit a shot from half court to provide the huge momentum shift going into the break. As the 2nd half began, PAS started to move the ball better around the perimeter, and allowed Tsiklidis to live in the paint, pick his spots, and score from all over the floor, as he turned in another dominant performance. PAS chipped away and eventually took the lead midway through the 2nd half, but The Process kept right at their heels, as Tsitsios and his teammates continued to get good shots in the half court sets. Unfortunately, a couple of unfortunate turnovers and 10 missed free throws in the 2nd half undid the Process’ chances, as PAS pulled away to secure a hard fought victory.

Leading Scorers:

PAS Giannina

Evan Tsiklidis: 37 points

Argyris Dritselis: 10 points

Process

Alkis Tsitsios: 17 points

PGBL Week 9 Game Recaps

Game 1:

Outlaws 88 PAS Giannina 49

Another PGBL week, another PGBL win for the Outlaws, as they put forth perhaps their best performance yet in a dominant win over PAS to make it 8 straight wins to start the year and 18 straight regular season wins dating back to last year, extending their own PGBL record. Laz Makrides was on form and in stride in this matchup, scoring 33 points on just one made three pointer, making his scoring effort even more impressive with his variety of drives to the bucket and points in transition. Jimmie Armentani had an off night scoring, but did an excellent job getting his teammates involved while running the point, as 3 of his fellow teammates (not including Makrides) went for double digits. On the other side of the ball, the Outlaws effectively shut down the PAS Giannina offense, as no one outside of Evan Tsiklidis scored more than 10 points. It was a barrage of points and pressure coming from the Outlaws, who seem to be kicking into gear right on time as the season runs down.

As for PAS, an off night is not the end of the world, as the occasional cold shooting night can happen from time to time, especially when there’s a limited amount of players in the rotation. And as we all know, tired legs increase the likelihood of missed jump shots. Fortunately however, PAS will be safely into the PGBL postseason with a win in their next game, and they still have an outside shot at securing the #2 seed in the league.

Leading Scorers:

Outlaws:

Laz Makrides: 33 points

Stephen Thomas: 17 points

Pete Kada: 16 points

PAS Giannina

Evan Tsiklidis: 26 points

Niko Dinoulis: 10 points

Game 2:

Kings 76 The Process 50

After getting thoroughly outplayed by the Warriors in their last game, the Kings managed to shake off the loss by pulling away late against The Process, beating them soundly in the 2nd half on the way to a victory. Bill Zonios’ shooting touch came back in a big way this game, as he knocked down 8 three pointers on his way to 33 points. The Process as a team did a very solid job defensively in the first half on the Kings, as they defensively leaned to Zonios’ side in a hybrid 2-3 zone to keep him relatively neutralized in the first half. But as the 2nd half ensued, Zonios kept stepping further back from 3 and kept knocking down shot after shot, leaving The Process understandably frustrated. And as the Process’ defense spread out to cover the 3 ball, Kings forward Laz Kalemis had his way down low, pulling down several offensive rebounds and putbacks on his way to a very nice performance on the night. The Process fought well in this game and managed to keep it close for the first 3/4 of the game, but they could not manage to score enough points to keep up with the defending champs. Alki Tsitsios, Pauly Rafailidis, and Tommy Tzumakaris battled with the Kings’ bigs well, but the physical toll of the game, combined with Zonios’ hot shooting, caused The Process to lose their 4th in a row. Not all is lost, however, as The Process still have two winnable games left against the Warriors as well as a rematch against PAS. The playoffs are still within reach for the young Process.

Leading Scorers:

Kings

Bill Zonios: 33 points

Laz Kalemis: 16 points

Process

Demetri Stergiou and Alkis Tsitsios: 14 points each

Game 3

Tune Squad 64 Revolution 52

The Tune Squad withstood a tough, rugged, and physical Revolution team to secure a solid team win as they pulled away late against the Revolution and secured their spot in the PGBL playoffs. It was a 2 man show for the Tune Squad on the offensive end, as both Ben Voudouris and Demetri Zanikos continued their impressive scoring runs as of late, both going for 20+ points against some tough defending. On the other end, Alexi Topalidis and Chris Voutsakis spearheaded the Squad defense, keeping the Revolution’s 3 point shooting to a minimum. And while the Revolution were mostly counting by 2s on offense, the Tune Squad were able to count by 3s, thanks to Zanikos and Voudouris’ 9 combined three pointers and 20 combined free throw conversions.

As for the Revolution, this was one of their more impressive performances of the season, going wire to wire against one of the league’s best teams even without star guard Vangeli Carabeses. Big man Vasili Nasis went off down low, scoring 24 points and imposing his will on the relatively undersized Tune Squad. Lefteris Ioannidis also chipped in double digits in points for the Rev. The Revolution certainly still have decent playoff chances going forward, as they have a couple winnable games left to decide their playoff fate. They’ll look to keep their positive momentum going, first against the Kings, before facing off again with the Outlaws.

Leading Scorers:

Tune Squad:

Ben Voudouris: 27 points

Demetri Zanikos: 24 points

Revolution:

Vasili Nasis: 24 points

Lefteris Ioannidis: 13 points

PGBL Week 8 Game Recaps

Game 1

Warriors 73 Kings 54

The first game of the 1st set of matchups following the Holiday Break saw a surprise result, further proof that there are no easy wins in the PGBL. The Warriors have played well and consistently against their opponents the entire season up to this point, but I don’t think many fans expected this type of win from them, as the Warriors dominated the Kings for an upset victory. This dominant team win from start to finish truly was a synergized effort, as 5 Warriors (nearly 6) scored in double figures during the game, moving the ball quite well on offense and effectively neutralizing Bill Zonios and his hot scoring touch. Sotiris Deliopoulos led the way for the Warriors in a breakout game, scoring an efficient 16 points, while Elias Kaltsidis exerted his will on the low post, getting several big rebounds while scoring 14 points himself. Both Deliopoulos and Kaltsidis contributed greatly to aid their team leading scorers Will Galiatsatos and Niko Papatsiaras, allowing both to contribute more on the defensive end. However, what made this win for the Warriors most impressive is that their team defense suffocated the Kings into their 2nd lowest scoring total of the season. That is definitely quite a feat, holding the high powered Kings to a low scoring figure, and if the Warriors continue to have great all around games like this one, they’ll be a dark horse team to make some noise in the playoffs.

As for the Kings, Jimmy Kemmerer was one of the few bright spots, scoring 19 points, while the always steady Chris Kourelias dropped double digits. Unfortunately, however, Bill Zonios had an off night, and both Veronis boys were out again for this one, thus sinking the Kings in this game. The Kings had their first stinker of the season. It was just one of those days where nothing was going in. It happens. It’s a make or miss game, and the Kings just had some bad luck. Shouldn’t be a big deal going forward, as the Kings still have the talent to make another run at the championship and get a 3-peat.

Leading Scorers:

Warriors

Sotiris Deliopoulos: 16 points

Elias Kaltsidis and Niko Papatsiaras: 14 points each

Will Galiatsatos and Aris Haritonidis: 11 points each

Kings

Jimmy Kemmerer: 19 points

Chris Kourelias: 13 points

Game 2

PAS Giannina 66 Tune Squad 59

The second game was a great, competitive battle that nearly went down to the wire, as 2 of the top 4 teams in the league squared off. Both teams traded buckets in a razor tight first half, and much of the same continued well into the 2nd half. Unfortunately, the Tune Squad got into some significant foul trouble as a team, with both Yioti Kasapis and Alexi Topalidis fouling out towards the end, which allowed PAS to ever so slightly pull away, while making clutch free throws down the stretch to pull out the win. Evan Tsiklidis once again came to play for PAS, scoring his 27 points via his typical methods: driving to the bucket while hitting his midrange and free throw shots. He also got some solid offensive support from teammates Niko Dinoulis and Costa Angelis, who both went for double digits in points. As for the Tune Squad, Ben Voudouris continued his impressive run of games, pouring in 31 points via a variety of different shots in a losing effort. Voudouris’ current excellence in his play will certainly come up big in the postseason, as the Tune Squad now have 3 legitimate scorers (Voudouris, Louie Karapanagiotides, and Demetri Zanikos) that can be used to challenge the firepower of both the Kings and the Outlaws. Unfortunately for this game, the Tune Squad played slightly shorthanded, as they were missing both Demetri Zanikos (PGBL Rookie of the Year favorite) as well as PGBL vet Chris Voutsakis. Had the team fouls not caught up to them, the Squad could have perhaps forced overtime and squeaked it out, but PAS did an excellent job as a team in hitting their free throws went it counted the most. With the Tune Squad still having to play the Outlaws a 2nd time at season’s end, PAS Giannina could even have an inside track to the all important #2 seed in the league, so long as they win out and secure their tiebreaker scenarios.

Leading Scorers:

PAS Giannina

Evan Tsiklidis: 27 points

Niko Dinoulis: 13 points

Costa Angelis: 11 points

Tune Squad

Ben Voudouris: 31 points

Game 3:

Outlaws 75 Revolution 52

The holiday break seemed to provide almost no rust towards the Outlaws and their winning streak, as they came out and took care of business against the Revolution, leading from wire to wire in this game. Both Jimmie Armentani and Laz Makrides did their thing for the Outlaws, as they both scored 23 points each. It was evident in this game in particular that both players love to share the ball, and despite currently competing against one another for the scoring title, seem to love playing together for their 1st year, and feed off of each other very well, as they are both willing to step back in the offense and assist for the other. The Outlaws have now extended their regular season winning streak to 17 games, and will secure the #1 overall seed for the PGBL playoffs if they secure 2 more victories before season’s end.

As for the Revolution, they fought hard and played well for the most part in this game, as they kept it somewhat close within the 1st half, but did not manage to provide enough scoring power to compete with the 1st place Outlaws. Both Vangeli Carabeses and Jake Sotiros were the only ones to score in double figures for the Revolution, as they continue to battle with offensive inconsistency. Fortunately for the Revolution, they still have some time left to secure a win that’ll give them safe passage into the postseason. Their final game against PAS Giannina could prove to be crucial.

Leading Scorers

Outlaws

Jimmie Armentani and Laz Makrides: 23 points each

Revolution

Jake Sotiros and Vangelis Carabeses: 14 points each