Bocaue, Bulacan--Members of Gilas Pilipinas and the Australia Boomers engaged in a "basketbrawl" midway in the third quarter of their 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier at the Philippine Arena here Monday night.
A free-for-all broke out with 4:01 left in the third period after Roger Pogoy went for a layup and collided with his defender Christopher James Goulding.As Goulding fell on the floor following Pogoy's attempt, the Australian's teammate Daniel Kickert retaliated with a forearm to the Filipino's face.Gilas players, led by Andray Blatche and Jason Castro rushed to Pogoy's aid, as players and coaching staff of the home team rushed into the court, either to join the fray or pacify those involved.As more punches and kicks were thrown by Australian cager Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks and Terence Romero, Aussie Nathan Sobey was hit by a chair and went down with a hurt back.It was only then that police, security guards, arena bouncers, and more officials were able to come in to stop team members from both sides from exchanging more blows.The incident took place some minutes after players from both sides confronted each other after Gilas players crossed over into the Australian side during warmups.Tension between Australia and the hosts had already started a day before. During a closed-door practice conducted by the Boomers early Sunday afternoon, members of the Australian team forcibly removed the stickers of the game sponsors from the hardcourt of the Philippine Arena.Organizers said it was done by the team without conferring or seeking the advice of the organizing committee.
As it was a closed-door practice, no member of FIBA or the Local Organizing Committee was present to prevent the removal of the stickers, which permanently damaged the floor of the court.The Australians, through their representatives to the Technical Meeting, admitted the fault and apologized for the incident.The match was supposed to determine the ranking of Australia and the Philippines in Group F in the second round. After the game, Australia has a 5-1 record in topping the group, followed by the PH with a 4-2 mark.Andray Blatche showed the way for Gilas with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but his numbers went down the drain after he, alongside eight other Gilas members were ejected for their participation in the melee.Also ejected were Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar and Carl Bryan Cruz.Four Boomers were thrown out, namely Goulding, Maker, Kickert, and Sobey.After the ejections, the game resumed with only three Gilas players on the floor in JuneMar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer. Fajardo and Norwood intentionally fouled out, leaving only Baser as the last Filipino player standing at the end of the third, forcing the referees to stop the game in favor of the Aussies, who won with the score of 89-53.
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