Aussie Maker slams FIBA ban
MANILA, Philippines – Australian center Thon Maker disagreed with the FIBA decision as basketball's world governing body penalized him with a 3-game suspension for figuring in an ugly brawl that erupted between the Philippines and Australia in the World Cup qualifying game last July 2.
The NBA player said he disapproves of the decision handed on Thursday, July 19, noting that he only tried to break up the brawl, "but without security things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation." Maker added that he needed to act to protect his teammates from "imminent harm."
During the melee, Maker got punched at the back of his head by Gilas' Terrence Romeo, prompting the Milwaukee Bucks player to retaliate with a flying kick that the Filipino guard evaded.
Maker was also seen kicking Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche in the free-for-all that reached international headlines.
Maker was one of the 3 Australian players suspended, while the Philippines had 10 players and 2 coaches sanctioned by FIBA. (READ: 10 Gilas players suspended, SBP fined for FIBA brawl)
Daniel Kickert got suspended for 5 games and Chris Goulding for one game. (READ: Australia: Goulding ban 'tough to swallow')
Maker, who posted his statement on his Twitter account, underscored the poor security during the game.
"As a human being I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help from security," he said.
But Maker said he intends to put the incident behind: "I would like to focus on my continued preparation for the exciting upcoming season with the Milwaukee Bucks and move forward from this terrible event with a positive take-away – a renewed appreciation for the importance of security personnel. They provide safety for all to enjoy the game we love, both as players and fans." – Rappler.com