FIBA suspends 10 Gilas players for brawl vs Australia
The Philippines' Jason William, centre, jumps to hit Australia's Daniel Kickert centre left as others rush to break the brawl during the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Monday, July 2, 2018 at the Philippine Arena in suburban Bocaue township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. Australia defeated the Philippines 89-53 via default following a brawl in the third quarter.
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

FIBA suspends 10 Gilas players for brawl vs Australia

( - July 19, 2018 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines – The world’s governing body for basketball on Thursday announced it is suspending players from both the Philippines and Australia for their participation in the brawl that marred their World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers last July 2.

In a statement, FIBA said it is suspending 10 players from Gilas Pilipinas, assistant coach Jong Uichico and head coach Chot Reyes.

Calvin Abueva has been banned for the most number of games at six. Following him are Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (five games each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario (three games each); Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (one game each).

Uichico has also been suspended for three games due to unsportsmanlike behavior, while Reyes is banned for one game for “inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.”

Reyes has also been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 10,000 (roughly Php534,000).

Meanwhile, the Philippines' national federation, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), has likewise been sanctioned “for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game.”

FIBA said the Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors, "while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years."

Additionally, SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 250,000 (roughly Php13.3 million).

The Aussies involved in the skirmish likewise did not go unpunished. Boomers Daniel Kickert, Chris Goulding, Thon Maker will face varying durations of suspension also for unsportsmanlike behavior. 

Kickert, who hit Pogoy with an elbow that triggered the fracas, faces a five-game suspension. Maker, who was seen throwing knees to Filipino players, is set to miss three games. Goulding, who first tangled with the Filipino guard, will miss one game.

SBP's counterpart, Basketball Australia, is also ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of CHF100,000 (roughly Php 5.3 million).  Among the grounds of the penalties against the visitors were “abusing and/or tampering of equipment,” and “unsportsmanlike behavior."

Meanwhile, FIBA said its secretary general, James Klotz, has decided that the referees of the game "shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program."

“[The referees] shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA [including at Zone and Sub-zone level] for a period of one year,” it said.

The basketball body said the amounts paid will be used for the "Basketball for Good" social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF).

“FIBA wishes to emphasize that it condemns any form of violence, both on and off the court. Respect, sportsmanship and professionalism are expected from players, coaches, officials and all other stakeholders at every game. Moreover, host countries must ensure the highest standards of organizational conditions are in place to guarantee the safety and well-being of players and other participants at all times,” FIBA added.

The SBP will hold a press conference on Thursday in Makati on the sanctions. - With a report from Denison Rey A. Dalupang

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