FIBA hands out sanctions over Gilas-Boomers brawl

World governing basketball body FIBA on Thursday issued bans to 10 Philippines players for their roles in the ugly brawl with Australia during their game on July 2 in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

FIBA handed out several sanctions to players and team officials who were involved.

Calvin Abueva received the heftiest sanction among the players as he was given a six-game suspension.

RR Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jio Jalalon each got five games suspensions. Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Troy Rosario each got three games. Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright each got one game.

Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, and Baser Amer were not suspended.

FIBA also suspended assistant coach Jong Uichico for three games for unsportsmanlike behavior and head coach Chot Reyes for one game for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior and also fined him 10,000 Swiss Francs (approximately PHP534,000).

The Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas also drew a fine of 250,000 Swiss Francs (approximately PHP13.3 million).

"Philippines' national federation, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game," the statement read. "Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years. SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 250,000."

For Australia, FIBA gave Daniel Kickert, whose elbow to Pogoy sparked the melee, a five-game suspension, Thon Maker a three-game suspension, and Chris Goulding a one-game suspension. Basketball Australia was also fined 100,000 Swiss Francs.

"Basketball Australia shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 100,000 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," FIBA said.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Basketball Australia released a joint statement on the incident on July 5, saying "the actions displayed have no place on any basketball court."

"We wish to apologize to the entire basketball community worldwide - and in particular to our fantastic fans in the Philippines and Australia - for the behavior displayed by both teams and for bringing the game of basketball into disrepute. We fully accept our responsibility and are collaborating in the ongoing proceedings to investigate the incidents. We will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening again," the statement read.

The three referees who worked the game were also sanctioned.

"Furthermore, following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be 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."

The player suspensions appear to only impact the 2019 World Cup Asian Qualifiers and do not seem to cover future FIBA tournaments and the Asian Games. The 10 players suspended will still be able to compete in the PBA.