The Boomers and the Philippines must pay a heavy price for their disgraceful brawl.
The Boomers and the Philippines must pay a heavy price for their disgraceful brawl.

Basketbrawlers learn their fate

THE sanctions are a bigger black eye for basketball than the brawl itself.

That was the feeling on Thursday following FIBA's decision to suspend 13 players and two coaches from the Philippines and Australia for their involvement in the ugly World Cup qualifying melee in Manila earlier this month.

Three Boomers - Daniel Kickert (five games), Thon Maker (three) and Chris Goulding (one) -  copped suspensions from FIBA matches for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Kickert, who sparked the brawl with his stray elbow, and Goulding, were also fined for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour.

The decision to suspend and fine Goulding is perplexing given he was set upon by multiple Philippine players and staff and bashed and kicked while he laid motionless on the ground.

No sanction was imposed on Australians Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee, who were on the court when the brawl erupted.

Players from the benches run to their brawling teammates during the match between Australia and the Philippines. Picture: George Calvelo/Getty
Players from the benches run to their brawling teammates during the match between Australia and the Philippines. Picture: George Calvelo/Getty

Jio Jalalon, the Philippines official/player who entered the court and punched Sobey,  received only a five-game FIBA suspension.

Remarkably, a Philippines player's father who entered the court and hit Sobey with a chair wasn't reprimanded.

Basketball Australia must also pay a disciplinary fine of $150,000 for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its players for abusing/tampering of equipment.

This occurred when the Australians removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game.

The Philippines  had 10 players rubbed out for a total of 35 FIBA games, with a total of $400,000 in fines.

This includes: Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (one game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (three games each); and Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jalalon (five games each).

Small forward Calvin Abueva received six games for prior unsportsmanlike behaviour in a FIBA competition.

No sanction was imposed on Philippines shooting guard Gabe Norwood.

Philippines assistant coach Joseph Uichico was also suspended for three games for unsportsmanlike behaviour, and  head coach Vincent "Chot" Reyes one game. He shall also pay a disciplinary fine of $13,500 for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Money from the fines will be used to support the "Basketball for Good" social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation.

The Boomers have been penalised for their involvement in the brawl in the Philippines.
The Boomers have been penalised for their involvement in the brawl in the Philippines.

In addition, the Philippines' national federation was sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organisation of the game.

As a result, the Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors, and a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of three years.

Philippines basketball was also ordered to pay a fine of $337,000.

In a surprise move, FIBA also suspended the match officials for 12 months.

Following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organised or recognised by FIBA (including at zone and sub-zone level) for a period of one year.

In a statement, FIBA made a strong stance on violence and the importance of all competing countries to behave according to their standards.

It's clear the organisation does not want a repeat of the disgraceful brawl between the Philippines and Australia, which led to the ejection of 13 players.

"FIBA wishes to emphasise that it condemns any form of violence, both on and off the court," the statement read.

"Respect, sportsmanship and professionalism are expected from players, coaches, officials and all other stakeholders at every game.

"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."

Importantly, FIBA's investigation also determined no racist language was used by Australian players and that the Boomers did it incite the incident, as had been alleged.

The Boomers and the Philippine national team have felt the force of FIBA.
The Boomers and the Philippine national team have felt the force of FIBA.

 

THE SANCTIONS

Philippines - 10 players rubbed out for total of 35 FIBA games and $400,000 fine.

Australia - three players rubbed out for total nine FIBA games and $150,000 fine.

Daniel Kickert (five games), Thon Maker (three games) and Chris Goulding (one game) copped suspensions from FIBA matches for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Kickert, who sparked the brawl with his stray elbow, and Goulding, were also fined for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Philippines assistant coaches also had three games and head coach a game.

The Philippines' next FIBA World Cup qualifying home game will be played behind closed doors.

Jio Jalalon, the Philippines official/player who entered the court and punched Boomers guard Nathan Sobey,  received only a five-game FIBA suspension.

A Philippines player's father who entered the court and hit Boomers guard Nathan Sobey with a chair wasn't reprimanded.



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