Three-pointers weren’t the only shots thrown in the game between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian Boomers
Photo by Tristan Tamayo
A non-bearing game between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian Boomers turned out to be one of the wildest and ugliest on-court brawl in FIBA history.
At the 4:01 mark of the third period, the Aussies were sitting comfortably at 79-48 until a physical encounter between Gilas’ RR Pogoy and the Boomers’ Chris Goulding ignited a fire that displayed one of the most embarrassing and disgusting scenes in the history of the FIBA and, worst, Philippine basketball.
In an already heated game due to endless trash-talking and taunting from both squads, a simple basketball game turned into a free-for-all fist fight—not just for the players but for floor officials too—after Australian Daniel Kickert charged and threw a wayward elbow on Pogoy that knocked the Gilas guard down.
Gilas center Andray Blatche felt the need to avenge his teammate as he charged towards Kickert and pushed him hard— things escalated quickly when nearly all of the Gilas players jumped in and threw punches to whoever was wearing a neon yellow uniform.
Among the players seen in the middle of the ugly showing were Gilas veteran point guard Jayson Castro, whom fans rarely see engage in a brawl; Terrence Romeo, who landed a punch on NBA center Thon Maker’s back head—who then chased Romeo with a flying kick that the Gilas guard dodged; and Carl Bryan Cruz who was chasing Kickert with punches on the sidelines.
The other six players from Gilas who were thrown out after the officials reviewed the incident for about 30 minutes were Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Andray Blatche, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Matthew Wright. On the other hand, four Aussies were slapped with disqualifying fouls, namely, Nathan Sobey, Goulding, Kickert, and Maker.
With nine players out of the game, only three were left to play for Gilas. Gabe Norwood, Baser Amer, and June Mar Fajardo were forced to play three-versus-five as Fajardo and Norwood eventually fouled out of the game. With only Amer playing, the game had to be ended as per FIBA rules in which there should be at least two players on the court for a game to proceed. The Gilas yielded in a 36-point loss to the Aussies, 53-89, at the 1:57 mark of the third quarter
Regardless of whoever won this game, both teams will advance to the second round in September as Australia sits atop Group B in the first round of the Asian qualifiers while Gilas drops to second with a 4-2 record.