MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Thursday announced that it had accepted the sanctions handed down by the FIBA, following Gilas Pilipinas’ role in the brawl against Australia during a World Cup qualifier last July 2.
Ten players and two coaches were given suspensions of varying lengths, to be served in the next window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Head coach Chot Reyes, in addition to a one-game ban, was also fined 10,000 swiss francs. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) was also fined 250,000 swiss francs.
On top of the suspensions and fines, the Philippines’ next home game in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers – which will be against Qatar on September 17 – will be played behind closed doors.
“The SBP accepts the disciplinary panel’s decision,” SBP president Al Panlilio said in a press conference.
However, Panlilio was also quick to add that the SBP is still in the process of reviewing the 13-page document given to them by FIBA, and it is possible that they may appeal the sanctions.
There are also certain aspects of the decision that Panlilio wants clarified “to make sure that we are on the same page as FIBA.”
“We did have our position paper submitted to them last July 13, and we just want to make sure they considered those points, and we’re on the same page,” he said. “From there, we’ll assess whether we’ll proceed on the formal appeal.”
The SBP has 14 days to file the appeal to FIBA.
“If we’re not satisfied with the clarification, we’ll keep our options open about an appeal,” said Panlilio.
Panlilio did not specify what they wanted clarified, but implied that the monetary fines to Reyes as well as the federation may be among those issues.
It also intends to clarify the probation handed to the SBP over the next three years. As of now, Gilas Pilipinas will only play one game behind closed doors, but it remains to be seen if FIBA will extend the punishment further.
“I think that’s something that we need to clarify in more detail,” said Panlilio.
In the meantime, Panlilio again expressed their regret about the incident, which put a harsh spotlight on Philippine basketball.
“SBP, together with the Gilas national basketball team, apologizes to our countrymen and to the basketball community at large for our conduct in the incident,” he said. “We reaffirm the principle of non-violence of any form on the basketball court, or off it.”
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