August 02, 2009
A bench-clearing brawl erupted between Canada and Italy during an exhibition basketball "friendly" in Conegliano, Italy on Saturday. The fight started when Italian Stefano Mancinelli clobbered the pride and joy of Napanee, Ontario — sorry, Avril — Aaron Doornekamp in the back of the head during the second half.
If none of that sounds overly exciting, well, just watch the elbow — it's a vicious cheap shot. Also, keep an eye for Italian Toronto Raptors, Andrea Bargnani(notes) and Marco Belinelli(notes), who attempt to play the role of Bono.
From what I've read, it was a "chippy" game from the opening tip. But aggressive play or not, there is absolutely no excuse for Mancinelli's actions. I'd be amazed if FIBA doesn't suspend him for several games, if not indefinitely, from international play. You can't punch people in the back of the head in UFC, let alone an exhibition basketball game. Fortunately, Doornekamp didn't sustain any serious injuries.