Australia and the Philippines basketball associations apologized for "bringing basketball into disrepute" following a massive on-court brawl between players, fans and officials at a FIBA World Cup qualifier on Monday. The unpleasant showdown unfolded at the Philippine Arena in Santa Maria in front of a crowd estimated at more than 22,000 people.
Fighting erupted with four minutes left of the third quarter, when Australia’s Chris Goulding was knocked to the ground by an opponent. A total of 13 players were ejected from the court. The game continued with just three men from the Philippines before it was eventually called off, ending on an 89-53 victory for Australia.
Australia vs the Philippines ended in absolute CHAOS.... and 13 ejections! pic.twitter.com/ijpWlbWT7i— FOX Basketball (@FoxBasketball) 2 July 2018
On Thursday, citing the inappropriate "behavior displayed by both teams," basketball associations from Australia and the Philippines published a joint apology.
"We wish to apologize to the entire basketball community worldwide - and in particular to our fantastic fans," the statement read. "We fully accept our responsibility and are collaborating in the ongoing proceedings to investigate the incidents. We will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening again."
FIBA, the organization in charge of governing international competitions in basketball, has yet to announce any sanctions for the brawl.