US basketball

LOOK: Bench-clearing brawl mars Gilas-Australia game

Delfin Dioquino
The keenly-awaited matchup turns into a free-for-all

BRAWL. Punches are thrown between the Philippines and Australia. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

BOCAUE, Philippines – Things turned ugly between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia as the two squads figured in a bench-clearing brawl midway through the 3rd quarter here at the Philippine Arena on Monday, July 2. 

Punches were thrown and kicks were landed in a game that had Australia having its way over the Philippines with a 31-point lead, 79-48, with 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. 

With the game already seething of intensity as the Filipinos were seeking to mount a comeback, Gilas’ RR Pogoy shoved Christopher Goulding to the ground before he was decked by Australia’s Daniel Kickert.

That did not end there as a flying Jayson Castro landed a punch on Kickert. It turned into a free-for-all with Thon Maker unleashing flying kicks. 

Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright were seen in the replay landing punches against their Australian counterparts. 

On a different replay, Allein Maliksi, who was part of the Gilas pool but did not suit up for the Australia game, was seen unloading continuous blows to Goulding at the back of Gilas’ basket. 

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Fans threw plastic bottles at the court, with one throwing a chair at Nathan Sobey’s head. 

The game was halted for more than 30 minutes as referees reviewed the brawl in an OB van outside the stadium to avoid biases.

The officials slapped Pogoy, Castro, Blatche, Abueva, Romeo, Cruz, Wright, Troy Rosario and Japeth Aguilar disqualifying fouls, leaving 3 remaining players for Gilas.

On Australia’s side, Sobey, Maker, Kickert and Goulding were ejected. 

June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer, the remaining 3 Gilas players, had to play 3-vs-5 against the Aussies before they all fouled out. 

The game ended with 1:57 minutes left in the 3rd quarter with the Australia taking home an 89-53 win by default


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.