FIBA slaps Gilas, Australian players with suspension over bench-clearing brawl

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  • Ten Gilas Pilipinas players were slapped with suspension
  • The two Filipino coaches and the SBP also drew hefty fines
  • Only 3 Australian players were meted punishment

MANILA, Philippines – Ten Gilas Pilipinas players and two coaches were slapped with suspension and hefty fines following the nasty squabble during the FIBA qualifying with Australia Boomers held in Philippine Arena early this month.

FIBA handed its ruling more than two weeks after the controversial bench-clearing brawl between the two teams that further dimmed the Philippines’ chances to play in the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

Of the Philippine team, Calvin Abueva received the most game suspension as punishment with 6; followed by RR Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz and Jio Jalalon with 5; Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Troy Rosario with three; and Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright with one game suspension each.

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Head coach Chot Reyes was suspended for only one game for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior but fined with 10,000 Swiss Francs (P535,000). His assistant coach, Jong Uichico, meanwhile, was suspended for 3 games for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Also FIBA slapped the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) with 250,000 Swiss Francs (roughly P13.4-M) and a ban for two more home games placed under a probationary period of 3 years.

The three referees officiating the game were also ordered “removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA (including at Zone and Sub-zone level) for a period of one year.”

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On the other hand, only three players from Australia were meted with punishment: Daniel Kickert with 5 games suspension, Thon Maker  with 3, and Chris Goulding with 1 game suspension.

But Basketball Australia also drew a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (roughly P5.34-M) “for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players and for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game”.

Only Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, and Baser Amer from the Philippine team escaped penalties.