MANILA, Philippines – A thing of the past.
Anthony Drmic said people have moved on from the ugly Philippines-Australia brawl as he returned to the country with the Adelaide 36ers, who will help Gilas Pilipinas in its FIBA World Cup buildup.
The Australian forward saw action in the World Cup qualifier game last year that ended up in a free-for-all between the Aussies and the Filipinos, but he was among the players who remained on the bench until cooler heads prevailed.
"Everyone got their sanctions and their punishments or whatever and everyone has kind of moved on from that and this event will obviously help with the healing process," Drmic said on Wednesday, August 21.
Both nations hope to fix their strained basketball relationship as Gilas and the 36ers tangle in a couple of tune-up matches on August 23 and 25.
"We're really excited to be here, we're really excited to play against the Philippines," said Drmic. "Such passionate people and passionate about their basketball. Everyone is excited."
Drmic added he does not recall any Filipino player involved in the melee.
"I don't even remember who was on the team and who wasn't. I'm sure they have the same thing, they don't probably remember me. Honestly, it's not big of a deal," he said.
As he put the incident behind, Drmic is expecting Adelaide to improve its team chemistry heading into the new National Basketball League season with 5 new players.
"[The] Philippines is a great country. Last time we were here, before that happened, we were having a great time," Drmic said.
"We're really looking forward to getting out there and enjoying the culture and just bonding with my team and getting to know each other." – Rappler.com
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.