Sorry for #basketbrawl
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.
“We will 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.”