NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had to watch the crucial last five minutes from the bench after being ejected as Greece fell agonisingly short of their bid to stay in the Basketball World Cup on Monday.
The Milwaukee Bucks standout picked up his fifth foul midway through the fourth quarter and even though Greece beat the Czech Republic 84-77, it was not enough.
Greece, targeting an unlikely spot in the quarter-finals, needed to win by 12 or more points to stay alive in the tournament in China.
They went for broke in the fourth quarter and were up by 10 points with just over eight minutes left, as the tension went up a notch in Shenzhen.
Greece reached the magic 12-point lead, only for the Czechs to immediately hit back to narrow the deficit once more, then came the crucial loss of the 24-year-old Antetokounmpo after he was fouled out.
He was seen remonstrating with the officials after Greece's fate was sealed.
The Czechs now need a USA victory over Brazil later Monday to reach the quarter-finals.