MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), Gilas Pilipinas players, and its coaching staff were given hefty sanctions following the controversial brawl with Australia during a FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier last July 2.
Sanctions ranged from game suspensions – three players were banned for one game, and one player was suspended for six – to fines. SBP has to pay 250,000 Swiss francs – more than P13 million – for unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation, as well as its insufficient organization of the game.
The punishments, according to SBP president Al Panlilio, are painful, but fair.
“FIBA has been quite fair in their process,” he said. “We want to clarify some things, but honestly, it could have been much worse.”
Indeed, FIBA’s match suspensions were only for the upcoming FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers and the players involved were not banned from PBA games.
Moreover, the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup was not affected by the incident.
“It was not mentioned,” Panlilio said of the 2023 event. “So that’s good.”
“When I say it could have been worse, those things could have been affected, ‘di ba?” he added. “It’s very clear now, that the focus of the sanctions are the 2019 (World Cup) qualifiers.”
“Again, it could have been worse. It could have been worse.”
Though Panlilio considers the findings and the sanctions “quite fair,” the SBP still intends to review the extensive document further and ensure that all their facts are aligned with that of FIBA.
“It’s always not good to be fined and suspended, sanctioned, but it could have been worse than what we have today. But still, having said that, we will still clarify if maybe, we can mitigate certain decisions,” he said.
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