During Australia’s FIBA World Cup qualifying match against the Philippines yesterday, the game suddenly turned into a free-for-all brawl.
The exchange of punches and throwing of chairs resulted into no less than 13 ejections from both of the teams. It all started during the third quarter when the Australian team, The Boomers, were cruising for victory with a 79-48 lead. Australia’s Kickert appeared to strike Philippine player, Pogoy, with an elbow when he made an offensive foul bringing down the Aussie player, Goulding, to the floor.
This triggered the Philippine team and chased after Kickert for what he did. Benches were cleared and players were all inside the court.
Thon Maker enters the scene with a flying kick
The crowd, who were mostly Filipinos, even got involved, throwing bottles at Australian players and shouting at them. A man wearing a ‘Pilipinas’ shirt was also seen throwing a chair at Sobey’s head. This led to the president of Philippines basketball to take the court and tried to calm the fans down.
When the referees reviewed the brawl, they ejected nine players from the Philippines and four from Australia – leading to the most bizarre international basketball game in the history.
It went down to a three on 5, with only three players remaining for the Philippines and seven players for Australia. One player from the Philippines already had four fouls, so you can probably guess what happened next.
3 Gilas Pilipinas players against The Boomers
Of course, he fouled out.
The game continued with a 5 on 2, then another Philippine player fouled out. And at 5v1, the officials decided to end the game, and the final score was 89-53 in favor of the Aussies.
Strangely, even after the riot and defeat, the Philippine team didn’t seem bothered and even took a “selfie.”
All Smiles for Gilas Pilipinas
When the Philippine team’s coach, Chot Reyes, was interviewed, he revealed that Kickert was already hitting his players even during the warm-ups. “I know a lot of other Filipinos, especially a lot of PBA players, are saying their piece, but they don’t know what happened. You don’t really know what went on. That’s all we have to say,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Basketball Australia, Anthony Moore, has also apologized for what happened, saying, “Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila. We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it.”
The International Basketball Federation also quickly released a statement, saying they will review the matter and further punishments will be handed down in due course.
In case you haven’t seen the insane brawl between the teams, watch it here: