By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After trailing 40-25 at the break of the Greek semifinal game which started with Olympiacos players getting called with three fouls in the first 28 seconds, the Reds decided to forfeit the game and not play in the second half.
Panathinaikos won the game with the final score being 20-0 according to FIBA rules and will play in the Greek Cup final against PAOK.
Olympiacos decided to proceed with the protest despite the possible sanctions for the team for leaving the game.
Olympiacos GM Christos Stavropoulos said on live television: “We are disgusted. We can’t participate in this farce. We can take it any more, the sports authorities should do something.”
Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos also spoke on the matter: “It was something already planned. It seems that they cannot pay their players, they threw the towel and now they say that they don’t like the refs. Maybe the Aggelopoulos family wants to leave Olympiacos and to blame us and the refs. It’s unacceptable. You lose, or win on the court.”
Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino who never had seen anything like that in his long career added: “I am very disappointed, I don’t want to see anything like this happening. We went to Olympiacos (ed.note: in the EuroLeague regular season) and we got our butts kicked. We are very disappointed that the game didn’t finish. I understand the rivalry with Olympiacos, but the game is bigger. I have a lot of respect for Olympiacos players and coach. I am very disappointed as a coach of 43 years. I don’t like the message it sends.”
When all was said and done, Giannakopoulos left a woman’s underwear on the empty Olympiacos’ bench.