Massive brawl erupts between Australia and the Philippines at FIBA World Cup qualifiers, 13 players ejected (Video)

Zach Pereles
The brawl between the Philippines and Australia resulted in 13 ejections. Credit: <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/players/121832/" data-ylk="slk:Steve Smith">Steve Smith</a> (@stevesmithffx) on Twitter
The brawl between the Philippines and Australia resulted in 13 ejections. Credit: Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) on Twitter

A FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers game between the Philippines and Australia came to a shocking and terrifying conclusion midway through the third quarter when a bench-clearing brawl broke out, resulting in the ejection of 13 players.

The videos of the incident are downright disturbing and show a complete lack of control in what was already a blowout game. From ABC-CBN’s Camille Naredo:

Australia led the Philippines 79-48 with 4:01 left in the third quarter

For some background, Australia and the Philippines (known in basketball as Gilas Pilipinas) are competing in the Asia/Oceania qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will take place in China from August 31-September 15, 2019. There are 16 teams from the region hoping to qualify for seven spots in next year’s tournament. Both teams were on their way to moving through to the second round when the brawl erupted.

It had been a chippy second half, but things truly boiled over when Filipino guard Roger Ray Pogoy bulldozed through his defender, Australia’s Chris Goulding. The video then speaks for itself. Here’s an alternate look that shows what led to the pandemonium:

13 players ejected, including Bucks’ Thon Maker and former NBAer Andray Blatche

For the most part, Australia, which features NBA players Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova, did a good job staying on its bench, as seen in the first video. With nine Filipinos facing four Australians, there were some vicious blows exchanged.

Maker, the 10th overall pick of the Bucks in 2016, was an easy target at 7’1″. Maker defended himself with a series of kicks and jabs, including a flying attack. This thread shows some of the most awful attacks from the fracas.

Maker’s attack drew the attention of Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell.

In the end, 13 players were ejected. From the Philippines, Japeth Aguilar, Jeth Rosario, Roger Ray Pogoy, Terrence Bill Romeo, Matthew Wright, Calvin Abueva, Andray Blatche, Carl Bryan Cruz and Jayson Castro were disqualified.

Blatche, who played nine seasons in the NBA and is currently playing in China, was one of the players most central to the brawl, retaliating quickly when the pushing and shoving began.

Maker, Daniel Kickert, Nathan Sobey and Chris Goulding were all ejected for Australia.

After a lengthy delay, the game continued, forcing the Philippines to play three-on-five, reminiscent of an NCAA basketball game between Alabama and Minnesota this past season. Unlike the Crimson Tide in that game, though, the Filipinos didn’t put up much of a fight: Two more players fouled out, leaving them with one eligible player with 1:57 left in the third quarter. That resulted in a forfeit with Australia winning 89-53.

Gilas posed for selfies and pictures afterward

The Filipinos showed no regard for the sport or human safety and then seemed proud of it by posing for a selfie on the court:

They also posed with fans after the game ended:

This, of course, was just minutes after they had engaged in a fight that included them throwing chairs at opponents’ head and blindside cheap-shotting players. For the Philippines players to engage in a fight like this — much less act like heroes in the aftermath — is shocking.

FIBA will investigate, but for now both teams have advanced

There was no press conference following the game, but Naredo reported that FIBA will study game reports from technical delegates to referees before handing out possible suspensions or other disciplinary actions. It released the following statement:

Both Gilas Pilipinas and Australia advanced to the second round of qualifying, with Australia winning Group B and Gilas in second. The next round begins on September 13.

Australia Chief Executive of Basketball: ‘Australia deeply regrets the incident’

Australia’s Chief Executive of Basketball, Anthony Moore, released a statement following the game:

“Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila. We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it.

“This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.

“We apologise (sic) to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”

There was no statement from the Philippines immediately available.

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