Wed, Jul 04, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Basketball World Cup qualifier marred by mass brawl

AP, BRISBANE, Australia

Basketball Australia on Monday said world governing body FIBA would enter “new territory” when it investigates a bench-clearing brawl during the nation’s World Cup qualifying match against the Philippines.

It would not rule out criminal Thirteen players, including four Australians, were ejected for their part in the brawl which took place in the third quarter of the match at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Philippines.

The qualifying match was won 79-48 by Australia.

Fighting erupted with four minutes left in the quarter when Australia’s Chris Goulding was knocked to the ground by an opponent, with Goulding’s teammate Daniel Kickert reacting by flooring a Philippines player with an elbow.

Philippines players and officials poured onto the court and a wild melee began.

Australia’s Sudan-born NBA star Thon Maker was seen to aim several flying kicks at Philippines players, and Goulding was trapped on the floor under a pile of players as punches were thrown and chairs were tossed into the arena by fans.

Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said players were bruised and shaken, but not seriously hurt.

He said his organization would fully cooperate with any FIBA investigation or tribunal, but he would not speculate on what sanctions might be imposed.

“I can’t speculate on what the sanctions will be because we’re actually in new territory in this regard,” Moore said.

Milwaukee Bucks center Maker defended his role, saying in a statement on Twitter that he was attempting to defend his teammates.

“I am deeply disappointed in the actions displayed during yesterday’s game against the Philippines,” Maker said. “Being from a war-torn country, basketball for me has always been a means to bring people together. I feel a great responsibility as an NBA player to carry myself in a way that promotes peace and unity.”

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