Governing body FIBA has slapped 13 players – including 3 Australians – with hefty suspensions over the very wild and exceedingly ugly brawl between the Boomers and the Philippines that sent shockwaves through the sport and caused increased tensions between the two nations.
The brawl, which occurred in Bulacan on July 2nd during a FIBA World Cup qualifying match, saw the Philippines side empty their bench and set upon Boomers players; the culmination of a spiteful few days in which tempers constantly sat on a knife’s edge.
Australian players Daniel Kickert, Thon Maker, and Chris Goulding were all handed suspensions for their role in the fight, with Kickert suspended for five games, Maker for three, and Goulding for one.
FIBA also handed down a fine of AUD$134,887.20 to Basketball Australia for “unsportsmanlike conduct during the game” and “ripping up on-court signage in the lead-up to the game,” which security camera footage caught Australian players doing the day before the game.
Unsurprisingly though it was the Philippines side who was hardest hit, with FIBA suspending 10 players for lengthy periods, fining the team’s governing body a total of AUD$337,208.19, levelling suspensions and fines on the team’s coach Chot Reyes and assistant coach Joseph Uichico, and forcing the team to play its next home game behind closed doors in front of empty stands, with two additional closed-door games suspended for three years.
FIBA also levelled heavy sanctions on the three officiating referees from the game. Those officials – representing China, Korea, and Malaysia – were removed from the elite refereeing panel and will not be eligible for selection in a FIBA organised international game for a total of one year.
In all, the sanctions handed down by FIBA today are as follows:
- Daniel Kickert – suspended five games
- Thon Maker – suspended three games
- Chris Goulding – suspended three games
- Basketball Australia – fined AUD$134,887.20
- Calvin Abueva – suspended six games (due to prior offences)
- Roger Rogoy – suspended five games
- Carl Cruz – suspended five games
- Jio Jalalon – suspended five games
- Terence Romeo – suspended three games
- Jayson Castro William – suspended three games
- Andray Blatche – suspended three games
- Jeth Rosario – suspended three games
- Japeth Aguilar – suspended one game
- Matthew Wright – suspended one game
- Assistant coach Joseph Uichico – suspended three games
- Head coach Chot Reyes – suspended one game, fined AUD$13,521.88
- Samahan Basketbol ng Pilipinas forced to play next home game behind closed doors, two further closed-door games wholly suspended for three years, fined AUD$337,208.19
The suspensions only apply to international play, meaning all players are free to play for their respective clubs.
The suspensions put a severe dent in the Philippines World Cup aspirations, however Australia remains in the box seat to qualify for the 2019 tournament.
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