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Fans divided over Gilas-Australia brawl

By: - Online Sports Editor / @CFColinaINQ
/ 05:07 PM July 03, 2018

Gilas fans at Philippine Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

There’s nothing like a Gilas Pilipinas game to unite a country over the mutual love for basketball.

Turns out, there’s also nothing like a controversy to drive a wedge between the national team supporters.

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Fans are divided on social media over the stunning brawl that broke out between Philippines and Australia in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers Monday night.

READ: Gilas runs out of players, loses to Australia in ugly, bizarre game 

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On one hand, with the Australians reportedly taunting the Filipinos as early as the warm-up until Daniel Kickert’s shove on Roger Pogoy triggered the melee in the third quarter, some fans feel like Gilas Pilipinas had every right to push back.

Things had been heated between the nations leading up to the game, with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan blasting the Australians for removing Fiba-approved decals from the court without permission.

Even the Gilas players and the coaches themselves said that they were merely looking out for their brothers on the floor.

The Filipinos were getting blown out, 79-48, when the two sides finally came to blows in the bench-clearing incident that saw punches and kicks thrown with the crowd at Philippine Arena also egging them on.

Nine players from Gilas’ side were tossed out of the game while four were ejected from the Australian side.

READ: Brawl breaks out in Gilas-Australia game

Naturally, there were others who were displeased with Gilas for what they thought was behavior unbecoming of a national team.

“Embarrassing” quickly became the word of the night to describe the melee, with the crowd at the venue also not helping calm down the nerves.

Marc Pingris’ selfie in the middle of the chaos also didn’t sit well with others, but some saw it as a mere gesture to diffuse some tension.

Gilas lost to Australia by default, 89-53, after Baser Amer, June Mar Fajardo and Gabe Norwood, the three players who were left on the floor after the incident, fouled out and ended the game.

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TAGS: Australia, Basketball, Brawl, Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas
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