FIBA World Cup qualifying game turns into brawl

FIBA World Cup qualifying game turns into brawl

As the Filipino bench emptied, wild punches were thrown, kicks launched and objects thrown, including a courtside chair in a shocking incident that will have repercussions for both teams once an investigation by the worldwide basketball federation (FIBA) is concluded.

The third period saw Australia continue firing from all cylinders, stretching its lead to 31 points, 79-48, with four minutes remaining before a fight broke loose.

Milwaukee Bucks NBA star Maker launched a flying knee at a group of opposing players, while Philippines centre Andray Blatche blindsided an Australian player with a punch in the back of the head.

Footage of the melee even showed a chair being thrown in the area behind the baseline.

The Australian men's basketball team can expect hefty punishment from the sport's governing body following their involvement an ugly brawl against the Philippines.

National Basketball Association veteran Andray Blatche, of the Philippines, was also one of the notable players involved in the fight that were ejected.

Australian journalist Alex Hart tweeted: "What a disgrace". His teammate Daniel Kickert reacted with an elbow hit at Philippines' player Ray Pogoy and then more and more players from both teams entered the fight.

A Filipino announcer at the stadium made an appeal for calm while the referees - who were flanked by police - conducted a lengthy video review of the brawl.

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"I just want to appeal to everybody to please settle down. It was of course the height of being unsportsmanlike but at the same time we appreciate that it's something that we have to be sorry about because it should never have happened", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

But if their side is routed by suspensions it will make things hard for one of the world's fastest growing basketball populations, in short this game could cost them a world cup place and basketball will be poorer for it.

In total, 13 players were ejected from the game in the aftermath, including Maker.

Overnight Australia's Boomers took on the Philippines at the FIBA World Cup qualifiers and with four minutes left in the third quarter, it turned into an all out brawl.

Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore said Australian players, coaches and officials held genuine fears for their safety, and relied on help from the Australian consulate, in attendance at the game, to return them to their hotel. "We don't play the game in that spirit. All we are saying.it was a regretful incident and it should not happen", he added.

The wild scene also involved the throwing of a chair, as seen here. "So, we find that an extraordinary allegation." .

After the first round, Australia topped the grouping with a 5-1 record while the Philippines finished second at 4-2.

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