FIBA drops the hammer
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.
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. – Rappler.com