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13 players and two coaches suspended for ‘basketbrawl’

Ten Philippine basketballers have been banned for 35 games between them, while three Australians will miss a sum of nine.

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 2, 2018 shows Mathew Wright (L) of the Philippines and Daniel Kickert of Australia exchanging blows in a brawl during their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier game at the Philippine arena in Bocaue town, Bulacan province,

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has suspended 13 players and two coaches over an on-court brawl in Manila between the Philippines and Australia national teams during a World Cup qualifier on 2 July.

After an investigation by Fiba, the veredict was announced on Thursday evening.

Australia’s Daniel Kickert, Thon Maker and Chris Goulding have been suspended for five, three and one game respectively, while ten Philippine players have been banned for 35 games between them.

The banned Filipinos are: Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (one game each), Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (three games each), Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (five games each), and Calvin Abueva (six games).

Assistant coach Joseph Uichico and head coach Vincent Reyes received three and one-game bans respectively.

In addition to the suspensions, both national federations have been fined, with the Philippines charged 250,000 Swiss francs (£191,703) and the Australian 100,000 (£76,681).

Also, the Philippines have been ordered by Fiba to play their next home game behind closed doors.

Mass brawl erupts as 13 players are ejected

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.

‘FIBA wishes to emphasize that it condemns any form of violence, both on and off the court,’ basketball international governing body said in a statement.

‘Respect, sportsmanship and professionalism are expected from players, coaches, officials.

‘Moreover, host countries must ensure the highest standards of organisational conditions are in place to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of players and other participants at all times.’

Initially, Australian players were accused by Philippine press of inciting the locals with the use of racist language, however, after an investigation by Fiba, it was determined that this wasn’t true.

The brawl in Manila left the Australian side fearing for their safety, soughting the embassy’s help to fast-track their departure from the Philippines.

Both teams later apologised to basketball fans for their behaviour on the pitch.


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