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Rick Pitino’s Greek team reaches final after opponent walkout on refs

/ 05:01 PM February 15, 2019
Rick Pitino

FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2019, file photo, Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino reacts during a Euroleague basketball match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in Piraeus near Athens, Greece. Greece’s government has condemned a walkout by the basketball club Olympiakos during a Greek Cup semifinal game against rival Panathinaikos following complaints over the refereeing. Olympiakos forfeited the game at Olympic Stadium in Athens on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, leaving at halftime and trailing 40-25. A spokesman for the team said he was “disgusted” with the quality of the refereeing. The action handed Panathinaikos and American coach Pitino a place in Sunday’s cup final against PAOK in Crete. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece — Rick Pitino is back in a final.

However, the Greek team he’s coaching reached the final after their opponents walked out at halftime because of poor officiating.

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Greece’s government has condemned a walkout by the basketball club Olympiakos during the Greek Cup semifinal game on Wednesday. The club forfeited the game in Athens after leaving while trailing 40-25.

A spokesman for the team said he was “disgusted” with the quality of the refereeing.

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Giorgos Vassiliadis, the deputy minister for sport, described the game as a “blow to the sport” but said he couldn’t interfere with the referee selection process.

Pitino tweeted after the incident, “Well, in 42 years of coaching, I thought I had seen it all.”

Pitino’s Panathinaikos team will play in Sunday’s final against PAOK in Crete.

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