Reyes says Australia’s Kickert ‘triggered the brawl’ after hit on Pogoy
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes blamed Australia’s Daniel Kickert for instigating the ugly fight in the third quarter of their Fiba World Cup Qualifier on Monday night.
Reyes said Kickert had been hitting several Gilas players even before the game tipped off and the big man’s forearm to the face of Roger Pogoy was the one that sparked the free-for-all at the 4:01 mark of the third quarter.
“It’s unfortunate. We didn’t want that to happen. It’s absolutely unacceptable, but the reality is, Kickert was hitting our players during the warmups,” Reyes told reporters after the game. “He hit Carl Bryan Cruz, he hit Matthew Wright, he hit Pogoy and he hit Calvin Abueva during the warmups.”
“So when he did that, the foul of Pogoy on Goulding was called a foul, an offensive foul, it was a basketball play but he was the one who came in and he decked Pogoy for the fifth time,” he added. “You can’t expect to do that to a team for five times and not expect to retaliate so that’s what happened. Unfortunately, that triggered the brawl.”
Reyes also said Gilas is ready to face possible repercussions that saw nine of its players ejected, including Pogoy.
“It’s up to Fiba in the end but we need to face those consequences. It is what it is, but like I said, the one thing that they have to know about this team is that we’re not gonna back down,” he said.
“We already restrained the players before the game we already told them, ‘Don’t mind them, focus on the game’ when Kickert did all of those things at the start during the warmup line. But when he did that in the third quarter it was hard to restrain them anymore.”
The video of the fight that also shows several fans participating is already making rounds on social media.
Kickers was also tossed with three other Aussies namely Thon Maker, Nathan Sobey and Christopher Goulding.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.