Greek basketball was dealt a devastating blow on Monday as Olympiakos eventually chose not to show up for the play-off match against Panathinaikos, which means the automatic relegation of the Reds to the A2 division.
It brings to an end almost 100 days of ruthless clash of the Piraeus club – one of Greece's and Europe's most successful – with the basketball federation, the league, and the other 13 teams of the Basket League which opposed the Reds' desire to suspend the league until the rules are changed and foreign referees are introduced.
Olympiakos has therefore lost Game 1 of the quarterfinal series with a 20-0 score, is going to be relegated and will likely choose to field a youth team in next season's A2 division, while featuring as normal in the Euroleague and possibly in the ASdriatic League, the league of the former Yugoslav republics.
Panathinaikos advances to the league's semifinals where it will face the winner of the tie between Peristeri and Ifaistos Limnou. Peristeri edged out the Limnos team 84-81 in Saturday's Game 1, with the second game of the best-of-three series scheduled for Wednesday.
AEK, that topped the table of the regular season, eclipsed Holargos 84-62 on Saturday and a second victory on Wednesday away will see it face the winner of the tie between Promitheas Patras and PAOK. The Patra team won on Saturday 81-66 at home.
However regardless of the outcome of this year's league, this will be always remembered as the season Olympiakos chose to drop out, with yet unknown consequences for the future of the domestic game.