The out-of-control scuffle between the Gilas and Boomers’ match-up stunned the basketball community across the globe
By Klyde Manansala | Photo by Tristan Tamayo
The Australian Boomers won by default against Gilas Pilipinas after a huge bench-clearing brawl broke out in the third quarter—perhaps the most embarrassing scene in Philippine basketball history—yesterday night in their FIBA Asia Basketball World Cup Qualifiers showdown.
The shocking incident garnered thousands of different reactions not just from locals, but also from some NBA players. This puts Philippine basketball’s name under the limelight, but for not the most pleasant of reasons.
Here are some of the notable Twitter reactions from locals:
— Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) July 2, 2018
Im not even talking about what happened inside the court. Kasama talaga yun. Kung mangyayari, mangyayari. It’s the general behavior in the arena and the fact na may nakisali pang fans para pagtulungan yung isang player na nakahiga na tapos masaya pa sila yung nakakalungkot. 😕 https://t.co/Pxx8HCuPlC
— Thirdy (@ThirdyRavenaaa) July 2, 2018
Embarrassing. Saw it coming from a mile.
— Charles Tiu (@charlestiu) July 2, 2018
For the record, if I were on that team & a fight broke loose, I would most likely jump in too. But none of what happened is cool, or okay, or funny, much less something to be proud of. Regardless of who started it, it was a terrible thing that we shouldn’t normalize or celebrate.
— Nikko Ramos (@NikkoRMS) July 2, 2018
Gilas Pilipinas vs. Australia game was tension filled from the start. Matthew Wright was shoved by Daniel Kickert during warm ups. Not defending the Gilas but that is utter disrespect and inappropriate as game hasn’t even started. Australians were taunting the players & crowd.
— JV Ejercito (@jvejercito) July 2, 2018
— L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) July 2, 2018
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) July 2, 2018
Host country tayo. We shouldve shown some class. #GilasVSBoomers
— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) July 2, 2018
While most of the locals condemned the lack of sportsmanship shown by the Gilas, some players and coaching staff took to Twitter to say their piece and apologize for the absurd behavior they displayed.
Gusto kong humingi ng sorry sa lahat ng nadissapoint sa laro kanina. Ginawa lang namin part namin as a teammate/kapatid kahit sino naman hindi hahayaaan masaktan ang kasama! Laban lang! 🇵🇭
— Jayson Castro (@jaywill_17) July 2, 2018
Unfortunate series of events that took place tonight. Heat of the battle and emotions won out, but in the end we strive to show the best of who WE are.
— Gabe Norwood (@GNorwood5) July 2, 2018
Tonight, my emotions got the better of me like a father who cares about his sons. That does not excuse my actions and I apologize to everyone as in hindsight I should have not gotten involved. This is a painful but maybe necessary lesson for me.
— Jong Uichico (@coachjong) July 2, 2018
Jayson Castro was one of the few players who expressed his apologies on Twitter after playing a role in the fist-fight. Castro was seen throwing a punch on Daniel Kickert who elbowed down Gilas guard RR Pogoy—the moment that sparked the ugly brawl. Gabe Norwood, one of only three Gilas players who kept calm, brought out his emotions regarding the incident. Gilas assistant coach Jong Uichico, who was seen throwing a chair at an Aussie player, also apologized for his actions that he said was just an act of protecting his players.
However, Terrence Romeo took out his enraged emotions yesterday night, saying he wasn’t sorry for what happened.
Dun sa mga kapwa namin players na nag sasabing embarassing kami wala kaming paki alam sa inyo . Kami mag kaka teammate sa loob kailangan namin mag tulungan. Hindi namin pwede pabayaan yung isat isa. Kung embarassing kami sa mata niyo bat di kayo mag convert ng australian.
— Terrence Romeo (@tbvromeo) July 2, 2018
Kahit anong sabihin niyo nag lalaro kami para sa isat isa para sa kapwa natin pilipino higit sa lahat para sa bayan. Hindi niyo alam ang sacrifice namin Kung para sainyo mali tulungan namin yung kakampi namin sinasaktan problema niyo na yun basta kami walang iwanan tapos!!!
— Terrence Romeo (@tbvromeo) July 2, 2018
Some NBA players and international reporters also shared their reactions following the vicious brawl.
MAN WTF!!! Disgusting
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) July 2, 2018
Yo @ThonMaker14 out here tryin hit dudes wit the flying knee😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) July 2, 2018
Stuff at the end is disgusting https://t.co/lDUuKSxBz9
— William Lou (@william_lou) July 2, 2018
The players who took part in the brawl have also since released their statements. Australian center Thon Maker, for instance, recently broke his silence and expressed in the following statement that he takes full responsibility for his actions at the Philippine Arena:
— Thon Maker ™ (@ThonMaker14) July 3, 2018
The chief executive of Basketball Australia Anthony Moore has also released the following statement on the team’s official site:
“Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila. We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it.
“This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.
“We apologise to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”