MANILA, Philippines – FIBA on Thursday imposed harsh sanctions on both the Philippines and Australia, following the infamous brawl between the two countries' basketball teams during a World Cup Asian qualifier earlier this month.
The world governing body for basketball announced the sanctions 16 days after the brawl that took place at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Thirteen players – nine Filipinos and four Aussies – were ejected from the game in the wake of the fracas. The Boomers went on to win, 89-53, with a little under two minutes left in the third quarter after Gilas Pilipinas was left with just one player available.
The Philippines bore the brunt of the sanctions, with 10 players and two coaches getting punished, as well as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas itself.
The players sanctioned are: Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (1 game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (3 games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (5 games each); Calvin Abueva (6 games, due also to prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition).
The suspensions will be served in the next window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Coach Jong Uichico, who joined the fracas, is suspended for three games, while head coach Chot Reyes is also suspended for one game and fined 10,000 Swiss francs.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), meanwhile, was “sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game.”
Because of this, the Philippines will play its next home game behind closed doors, while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of three years.
The SBP will also have to pay a disciplinary fine, worth 250,000 Swiss francs.
Meanwhile, Australia saw three of its players suspended: Chris Goulding (1 game), Thon Maker (3 games) and Daniel Kickert (5 games).
Basketball Australia was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs for “the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players and for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game.”
Money from the fines will be used to support the "Basketball for Good" social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF).
The FIBA secretary general has also removed the referees from the game from the FIBA Elite Program, and they will not be allowed to officiate any international competitions recognized or organized by FIBA for one year.
“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,” FIBA said in a statement.
“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.”
The SBP is set to address the sanctions in a press conference later this day.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.