Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sorry for #bas­ket­brawl

But PBA will ap­peal loom­ing Fiba bans on Gi­las play­ers

- By Bong Lozada

The Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion will ap­peal any sanc­tion by Fiba on Gi­las Pilip­inas play­ers if it in­volves their stint in the pro­fes­sional league, com­mis­sioner Wil­lie Mar­cial said Thurs­day.

“Wewill wait for Fiba’s de­ci­sion,” Mar­cial told re­porters af­ter meet­ing mem­bers of the team that came to blows with Aus­tralia dur­ing their World Cup Qual­i­fy­ing match at Philip­pine Arena Mon­day night.

“If the play­ers are sus­pended from Fiba tour­na­ments, we will abide by that de­ci­sion,” Mar­cial added. “But if they are sus­pended even in the PBA, we will ap­peal.”

The PBA has de­ferred ac­tion on the erring play­ers un­til af­ter the Fiba de­ci­sion comes out.

Ear­lier in the day, the Sama­hang Bas­ket­bol ng Pilip­inas and Bas­ket­ball Aus­tralia came up with a joint state­ment ex­press­ing re­gret over the brawl, which hap­pened in the third pe­riod of what was of­fi­cially logged as an 89-53 win by the Aussies when the Filipinos did not have any­more play­ers to con­tinue on.

“We deeply re­gret the events that took place dur­ing the game,” the state­ment read. “The ac­tions dis­played have no place on any bas­ket­ball court. We wish to apol­o­gize to the en­tire bas­ket­ball com­mu­nity world­wide—and in par­tic­u­lar to our fan­tas­tic fans in the Philip­pines and Aus­tralia—for the be­hav­ior dis­played by both teams and for bring­ing the game of bas­ket­ball into dis­re­pute."

The state­ment was signed by SBP pres­i­dent Al Panlilio and BA counter part Ned Coten.

Nine play­ers from Gi­las Pilip­inas were ejected from the game on dis­qual­i­fy­ing fouls while four Aussies were also tossed af­ter the melee, which was trig­gered by a blind-side el­bow from Daniel Kick­ert to Roger Po­goy.

Late Wed­nes­day night, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao came to Gi­las Pilip­inas’ de­fense and blasted Kick­ert for the at­tack, which he de­scribed as po­ten­tially fa­tal.

“Kick­ert started it all and he didn’t even apol­o­gize. All he said was it’s re­gret­table and all he said was it was un­for­tu­nate,” Guiao told re­porters af­ter the Road War­riors’ loss to the Mag­no­lia Hot­shots at Mall of Asia Arena. “He al­most killed some­body and he did not apol­o­gize.”

Guiao said the Aussies, who flew to the coun­try on the heels of a stun­ning de­feat to Ja­pan, came to the Philip­pines “look­ing for trou­ble.”

 ?? —CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO ?? Gi­las play­ers Calvin Abueva, Ter­rence Romeo and RR Po­goy ar­rive at the PBA of­fice.
—CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO Gi­las play­ers Calvin Abueva, Ter­rence Romeo and RR Po­goy ar­rive at the PBA of­fice.

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