SBP Chair: Sanctions must be meted out in Gilas-Australia brawl

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A FIBA World Cup qualifying match plunged into chaos when a vicious fight broke out between the Philippines and Australian teams at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan last Monday.

Australia were cruising to victory with a 79-48 lead before the match descended into farce after Philippines guard Roger Ray Pogoy lashed out at Australia's Chris Goulding with an errant elbow.

The chief executive of Basketball Australia, Anthony Moore, faced the media on Tuesday to express his regret at Australia's involvement in the "unacceptable" incident that has prompted questions over security for travelling teams.

Moore said the Aussies "accept our responsibility for our role in last night's incident" and were waiting for the sport's governing body's findings and sanctions.

"We apologize to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down".

The officials assessed the replay of the fight and made a decision to eject 13 players - nine players from the Gilas Pilipinas and four from the Australian national team - from the game.

"We had a team shootaround the day before, floor decals are always something that you look at", he said.

But the incident may just overshadow performances from both teams.

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The incident took place some minutes after players from both sides confronted each other after Gilas players crossed over into the Australian side during warmups.

"Players and coaches were fearful of their physical safety, that's how significant the issue was", Moore told SEN radio on Tuesday. This is assault! Spats and occasionally fights happen in a game, but for a bench to clear and players, support staff, arena employees to start kicking, stomping, throwing chairs - it is ASSAULT!

"Basketball's global governing body has opened disciplinary hearings against Australia and the Philippines". But it's the mental health of our players we are anxious about.

As there was no immediate threat to the players the game resumed but in a tame form as Fajardo and Norwood fouled softly until they fouled out, thus forcing the game to end.

"I can't speculate on what the sanctions will be because we're actually in new territory in this regard", Moore said.

VideoThe Australian Boomers have become involved in a massive brawl in a basketball match against the Philippines.

The Philippines only had three eligible players remaining and two of them fouled out in quick succession, forcing officials to call the game with Australia leading 89-53.

Ejected from the game on the Gilas side were Talisay City-native Pogoy, naturalised player Andray Blatche, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Carl Bryan Cruz, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, and Matthew Wright.

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