The conclusion of the A1 basketball league’s regular season saw the relegation of Peristeri to the A2 after a dramatic battle with Ilisiakos that was decided on a single point.
Peristeri actually beat Ilisiakos behind closed doors at home on Sunday, with an 83-82 score in overtime, but this was not enough for the West Athens club that missed out on a spot in next season’s top flight due to the fact that Ilisiakos, that had the same number of points, had a better head-to-head record by just one point, having beaten Peristeri by two at home.
What was even more impressive was that as Peristeri was trying to secure a three-point margin, it deliberately missed two free throws at the end of the 40 minutes to force overtime. At the end of the additional five minutes, Ilisiakos did exactly the same to avoid a second overtime, choosing instead to lose by one point that was enough to see it stay up.
In the other games of the last round, European champion Olympiakos presented its new Euroleague trophy to its fans before its 80-53 home win against Apollon Patras, to finish the regular season with just one defeat. Panathinaikos, in second, edged out PAOK at Thessaloniki with a 71-61 score after a tight game.
Panionios downed neighbor Ikaros Kallitheas 86-62 to finish third and Aris snatched the sixth spot with a convincing 99-82 win at Kolossos Rhodes.
AGO Rethymnou downed relegated Kavala 82-80 away and KAO Dramas dismissed visiting Panelefsiniakos 101-77.
The play-offs begin on Tuesday involving the top eight teams at the table: The best-of-three quarterfinals are Panionios vs Aris and PAOK vs AGO Rethymnou on Tuesday, and Olympiakos vs Apollon Patras and Panathinaikos vs Ikaros on Wednesday.