FIBA drops the hammer

Delfin Dioquino
FIBA drops the hammer
In the aftermath of the infamous Philippines-Australia brawl, basketball's world governing body hands down its decision

MANILA, Philippines – After the infamous Philippines-Australia basketball brawl, Filipino players and Gilas Pilipinas deputy coach Jong Uichico immediately apologized for their roles in the fracas. 

Andray Blatche penned a heartfelt apology to his son, Terrence Romeo said sorry but stood by “brotherhood” and Jayson Castro asked for forgiveness and said that the Filipinos never looked for fights

Japeth Aguilar and Gabe Norwood admitted emotions got the best of them while Uichico acknowledged that he should not have been involved in the skirmish at all. 

The Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) also apologized for what occurred and reiterated its stand that “violence has no place in sports.”

However, not one of those apologies swayed FIBA as it dropped the hammer on both the Philippines and Australia. 

After thorough evaluation, the sport’s world governing body handed down its decision suspending 10 Filipino players and two coaches for varying numbers of games on July 19.

Calvin Abueva received the longest suspension with 6 games while Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz and Jio Jalalon were slapped five-game suspensions each. 

Blatche, Romeo, Castro and Troy Rosario were made to serve three-game suspensions apiece while Aguilar and Matthew Wright were suspended for a game each. 

Uichico, meanwhile, was punished with a three-game suspension.

Even Gilas head coach Chot Reyes didn’t get off scot-free as FIBA suspended him for one game and was made to pay 10,000 Swiss francs (approx. P535,000) for “inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.” 

Reyes was caught on live television telling his players, “Hit somebody. Put someone on their ass.” But he has since clarified the remark as usual basketball lingo. 

The SBP was also hit hard with a disciplinary fine of 250,000 Swiss francs (approx. P13.37 million) for “unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game.” 

Moreover, the Philippines was put under a three-year probation and needed to play its next home game behind closed doors. (READ: FULL TEXT: FIBA decision on Gilas Pilipinas-Australia brawl)

In Australia’s side, Daniel Kickert, Thon Maker and Chris Goulding were suspended for 5, 3 and 1 game, respectively. 

Basketball Australia likewise got fined 100,000 Swiss francs (approx. P5.34 million) for “the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players” and for “having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game.” 

With the numerous suspensions, Gilas’ campaign for the second round of the World Cup qualifiers was quickly shrouded with uncertainty. – 

2018: Gilas Pilipinas’ Wild Ride

Part 1 | Brawl that shocked the world
Part 2 | FIBA drops the hammer
Part 3 | Roller-coaster Asiad buildup
Part 4 | Major revamp
Part 5 | The Jordan Effect
Part 6 | Slim chances

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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.