A letter from FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has been sent to the Philippine and Australian federations following their bench-clearing incident in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifier at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan Monday night.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said this as the disciplinary committee of FIBA gets ready to open proceedings following the controversial, riotous game between the Filipinos and the Australians.
Panlilio said they have already received the letter from the FIBA’s Disciplinary Committee, asking them to explain their side.
He said SBP will be ready with a presentation in a week’s time.
“FIBA has communicated last night. The letter cited a report from the referee, who submitted their statements and evidences,” said Panlilio.
A free-for-all broke between the two teams broke out with 4:01 left in the third period after Roger Pogoy was hit by Australia’s Daniel Kickert with a forearm to the Filipino’s neck.
Panlilio said the safety and wellbeing of the Australian Boomers have been assured when they left the country last Monday.
Basketball Australia chairman Ned Coten, who spoke to Panlilio when fighting erupted, said this was their main concern when they left venue because there were fans who got involved in the fracas.
Coten, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald said the players and staff had not slept when they left Manila due to concerns over their safety and the travel home from Manila.
“Basketball Australia accepts a level of responsibility for the things that happened, as do the players,” said Coten. “What is not acceptable is the situation where you have officials and others in the field of play which caused the scenes you saw on footage.”
Panlilio said that if the brawl happened in other countries, it would have been different.
“Of course, there was jeering. But the Filipino fans started to entertain themselves, by doing the wave and by lighting up their cellphones,” said Panlilio.