A @FIBA World Cup qualifying game between Australia and the Philippines has erupted into shocking all-in fist fight in the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. https://t.co/fmWYIwdimR #7News pic.twitter.com/8ptmpWLv8Q— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) July 2, 2018
A game of basketball turned ugly when players from Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas and Australia’s Boomers got involved in a massive brawl during the game.
Players from both the teams got in a fist fight exchanging punches, kicks and throwing chairs at each other during the a FIBA World Cup qualifier game.
The violent scuffle broke out in the third quarter of the game on Monday night at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
It all started with only four minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Roger Pogoy from the Philippines team shoved Australian basketball player Chris Goulding on the ground. At this point, the Boomers were already way ahead of the Gilas with a comfortable 79-48 lead.
Australian player Daniel Kickert rushed to Pogoy and elbowed him knocking him down on the floor after noticing the foul. However, as soon as Kickert shoved Pogoy down on the ground, the remaining Filipino players lost their temper.
They rained down punches at Kickert and pushed him out of the basketball court.
Then Thon Maker, who was playing for the Australian national team, joined in the brawl and tried to land a flying kick at Terrence Romeo of Gilas.
The madness came to an end after a minute when security intervened and separated both the team players who were viciously attacking each other.
Then an aggressive fan came forward and punched one of the Australian players, followed by another violent Philippine supporter, who was captured on video throwing a chair at a visiting player.
“I just want to appeal to everybody to settle down. We’re hosting this game and this is basketball. Please respect the game and make our visitors feel safe in the arena,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said, trying to calm down the crowd and players.
After the clash, a total of 13 players were expelled from the game. Nine were from Gilas and four from the Boomers team.
This left the Gilas team with only three players to complete the remaining game. Two of the players, Fajardo and Norwood, fouled out intentionally and the referees were left with no option but to announce Australia as victorious with a score of 89-53.
Chot Reyes, the Filipino team coach defended his team after the brawl, saying, “I understand the disappointment,” he told reporters after the game. “I understand that some are embarrassed, but you don’t know what happened. You have to be in the team. You have to be in our circle to really understand what went down.”
Soon after the vicious brawl, the Gilas team was pictured taking a selfie, as if what they had done needed a celebration.
This just happened. After one of the wildest on-court brawls in recent memory, the Philippines team pauses to pose for a selfie, like there’s something to celebrate pic.twitter.com/fTXAaBA5lp— Mitchell Scott (@WhippingBoySEN) July 2, 2018
People on social media condemned the Filipino team’s actions.
Embarassing…— Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) July 2, 2018
Unfortunate series of events that took place tonight. Heat of the battle and emotions won out, but in the end we strive to show the best of who WE are.— Gabe Norwood (@GNorwood5) July 2, 2018
Stuff at the end is disgusting https://t.co/lDUuKSxBz9— William Lou (@william_lou) July 2, 2018
Terrible look.— Barry Kelly (@bazakel) July 2, 2018
ICYMI: There was a FIBA Brawl yesterday between the Philippines and Australia that included @Bucks, @ThonMaker14 trying to throw flying kicks. Here is the clip below, sad that things get way out of control sometimes on the professional level. #RFOTDhttps://t.co/oKmSvwiO1L— Brad Cieslewicz (@BradC_WSAW) July 3, 2018
Some users thought Filipino team was not wrong, because the Australians had apparently hurled racial slurs at them earlier and then elbowed one of their players.
Not ashamed of the Gilas team tho. It might be the worst way, but fighting for your brothers is not a mistake. ????????— @bato (@bato20167606) July 3, 2018
Have you watched the game??? The filipino player committed a hard offensive against an australian player and that kickert intentionally elbowed him!!! And you’re saying the filipinos started the fight??????? If fiba bans philippines then australia should be banned too!!!!!!— JULIUS LABRAGUE (@JULIUSLABRAGUE) July 4, 2018
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) took to social media announcing it was opening disciplinary proceedings against both teams.
Following the incident that occured in the third quarter of the Philippines-Australia game on Monday in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, FIBA will now open disciplinary proceedings against both teams. The decision(s) will be communicated in the coming days.— FIBA media (@FIBA_media) July 2, 2018
“We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it. This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball. We apologize to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down,” stated Anthony Moore, the chief executive of Basketball Australia.
Later, Maker from Australia also apologized for his behavior.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Pet Salvador/AFP/Getty Images