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Players, Coaches and Refs Banned After Brawl in FIBA World Cup Qualifier

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The Philippines and Australian basketball players brawl during the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Photo: Bullit Marquez / AP

By James Diamond |

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has banned 13 players and fined the national federations of The Philippines and Australia after a mass brawl broke out in a World Cup 2019 Asian qualifier between the two countries earlier this month.

Ten Filipino players and three Australian players have been banned, while their governing bodies have been fined $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

In addition, both Philippines head and assistant coaches Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes and Joseph Uichico have been suspended for one and three games each, while the entire refereeing team from the match on July 2 have also been banned from officiating any international matches for a year.

International Olympic Committee member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann told insidethegames they were “very disappointed” with the fight and the image of the sport it portrays.

“Emotions run high in a competitive environment, that is not unusual, but people need to be able to control themselves and respect their opponents,” he said.

“The disciplinary panel had no choice but to take the decision that they had to take.”

The game in Bulacan descended into chaos when a large fight broke out in the third quarter involving most of the players and some fans from the crowd as well.

Thirteen of the players were immediately disqualified from the game, which initially resumed before being abandoned, after two foul outs left The Philippines with just one player.

FIBA launched disciplinary proceedings straight after which has led to today’s announcement.

When asked about the ban laid down for the refereeing team, Baumann said a review conducted by FIBA had found their behavior to be “unacceptable” and that the ban was the “logical consequence.”

“They have to train and progress and think a bit more [about] what went wrong to become better the next time they take to the court to officiate another game,” he said.

For The Philippines the players banned are Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche, Jeth Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz, Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva, who have all been banned for between one and six games.

For Australia, Chris Goulding, Thon Maker and Daniel Kickert have been banned for one, three and five games respectively.

As well as the bans and fines, The Philippines will now have to play their next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of three years.

In response to the sanctions, Basketball Australia (BA) chief executive Anthony Moore said they “sincerely regret” the incident.

“We acknowledge the sanctions handed down against Australian players and acknowledge the sanctions imposed against Philippines players and officials involved in the incident,” he said.

Moore also said it is “unlikely” BA will appeal the decision but that they will discuss the matter tomorrow.

All money raised from the fines will be used to support the “basketball for good” social program, FIBA said, which helps promote education, gender equality and conflict resolution.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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