Australian and Philippine basketball federations apologise for brawl

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Filipino and Aussie players clashing on Monday. A total of 11 players had been sent off by the end of the match.

The basketball federations of Australia and the Philippines have issued a joint apology for this week’s brawl, but still face penalties from Fiba.

Players from Australia and the Philippines both face long bans over their involvement in the on-court violence on Monday (July 2). 

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Philippine players and officials are likely to face the stiffest penalties, but Australian players Daniel Kickert and Thon Maker are also in the firing line. Basketball’s governing body Fiba is continuing to investigate the incident.

Ned Coten, Basketball Australia’s president, and his Filipino counterpart Alfredo S Panlilio said they deeply regretted the shameful behaviour. 

They said basketball had a unique “power to unite”, and the two nations would aim to display the “true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship” in future.

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“The actions displayed have no place on any basketball court,” their joint statement read. “We wish to apologise to the entire basketball community worldwide – and in particular to our fantastic fans in the Philippines and Australia – for the behaviour 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.”

Chris Goulding has said he just tried to protect his head for what felt like a “hell of a long time” as Philippines’ players and officials swarmed over him during the brawl.

The Boomers star spoke publicly about the incident during Australia’s 89-53 win over the Philippines in Manila for the first time today (Thursday, July 5).

He said he was “very thankful” to giant Australian assistant coach Luc Longley, who came to his rescue as he was attacked while lying on the floor.

His problems began when he was fly-kicked in the back by a Philippines player, who came from the bench as the brawl erupted after Kickert retaliated with a forearm to a brutal off-the-ball foul on Goulding.

“He kicked me down under the ring and that’s when I was set upon,” he told SEN radio. “It wasn’t like I knew exactly what was happening, it happened from behind. I was on the ground and 10 to 15 people were on top of me with chairs and everything you can imagine.

“At that point in time, I wasn’t thinking I might lose my life, it was just literally protect the head and just wait it out.”

He described how fellow player Nathan Sobey had been coming to his aid when he took a chair in the back of the head and a punch in the face.

“Sobey saw me down there, he knew what was going on and he tried to come and help and he had a chair thrown at him and then he was coward punched. It’s just something you never think you would experience. It felt like a hell of a long time.”

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