With only one team, Vermont, not seeing action this weekend we managed to get a glimpse of how the PBL season is going to play out, and if the first three days are any indication then this is going to be an amazing season. The games were all very close, most coming down to the final few plays and there were a lot of upsets.
My pre-season predictions are out the window now that Rochester and Manchester both lost their opening games. Manchester were shocked by Montreal and dropped a game to Quebec and Augusta managed to upset the reigning PBL champions, the Razorsharks. In the category of upsets of less staggering magnitude, Buffalo defeated Wilmington and Detroit beat Mid-Michigan. The Detroit win came thanks to a contested 3/4 court runner by Willie Mitchell:
Montreal had a good weekend beating Manchester and taking Halifax to over time. Halifax squeaked out two close wins to start the season 2-0. They’re big wins since Halifax only won 3 away games all season last year and the team failed to win those close, grind them out games, and since Halifax are the only team to win two games on the opening weekend.
Complete results and box scores are available here.
It is a great way to kick off the season and provides some really good drama. The PBL season is really short so every loss is a missed opportunity and if teams like Rochester or Manchester continue to start slow then they may dig themselves a hole that is hard to climb out of.
The games all seemed to have close to packed houses and good crowds combined with exciting, thrilling games in which the home teams pulled out some big upsets really bodes well for attendance. If you can provide fans with exciting basketball they’re a lot more likely to return, the the first weekend certainly provided plenty of excitement.
My own very unofficial player and team awards for the opening week:
- Player of the Week: Jonas Pierre (QC) – The Kebs played Halifax close losing on a last second jump shot off an offensive rebound and upset Manchester with Pierre leading the way, averaging almost a tripple double with 13.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 9.5 bpg.
- Team of the Week: Augusta Groove – 11 point win at home against the defending champs.
- Disappointment of the Week: Manchester Millrats – Many people, myself included, had them penciled in as the Atlantic’s best teams due to the quality of the roster on paper, but Quebec and Montreal reminded us that basketball games are not played on paper. They’re 0-2, last in the PBL in points per game, and have the worst assist-to-turnover ratio in the league with a shocking 4.8 turnovers for every assist.