Manila, Philippines – The International Basketball Federation or FIBA has issued penalties to both Gilas Pilipinas and Australian Boomers on the grounds of “unsportsmanlike” behavior.
The verdict came two weeks after a controversial in-court scuffle ensued between the two teams during a FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifying match on July 2.
Thirteen (13) players, 10 from Gilas and 3 from Boomers, were each slapped with suspension for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Roger Pogoy, who according to FIBA Disciplinary Panel, incited the brawl by elbowing Chris Goulding, is suspended for five games. Gio Jalalon and Carl Cruz also face five-game ban.
Calvin Abueva was slapped with six-game suspension that is also related to previous misconduct in a FIBA competition.
Terrence Romeo, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro William and Jeth Rosario are banned for 3 games each. Meanwhile, Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright have to skip one game as punishment.
Aside from Gilas players, two others from the Philippine team – Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico and Head Coach Chot Reyes – also face game suspension and fine. Uichico is suspended for three games for his unsportsmanlike demeanor, while Reyes is banned for one game and is fined with $14,000.
The Philippines’ basketball federation, the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), Inc. shall also pay $337,000 for unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation and of its audience, as well as its failure in organizing the game.
Furthermore, Philippines will play the next home games behind closed doors, while a ban for two more home games has been placed for a probationary period of 3 years.
On the Australia side, Daniel Kickert also has to endure a five-game ban, for his involvement in the brawl and also for inciting an unsportsman like behavior. Goulding was also cited for stiring up the fight. He is banned for one game. Their teammate Thon Maker is sanctioned with a three-game suspension.
Basketball Australia has been handed a disciplinary fine of $135,000 for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its players and “for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game”.
Moreover, FIBA also sanctioned the referees officiating the game for their failure to control the situations. They have been removed from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominatdd to any international competitions organized and recognized by FIBA for one year.
Money from the penalties will be used to support the “Basketball for Good” social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF).