Andray Blatche

AP

FIBA bans players, coaches for Australia-Philippines basketball brawl

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Thirteen basketball players and two coaches were suspended and fined Thursday, and sanctions were imposed on the national federations of the Philippines and Australia after a brawl during an Asian qualifier for the sport’s World Cup.

Video of the brawl on July 2 was widely played around the world, with punches thrown, chairs tossed at players from the crowd, and security needed to restore order.

Ten Philippines players were suspended: Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (one game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (three games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (five games each); Calvin Abueva (six games, because of prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition).

FIBA, the sport’s governing body, said Philippines assistant coach Joseph Uichico was suspended for three games for unsportsmanlike behavior. Head coach Vincent “Chot” Reyes was suspended for one game and fined for unsportsmanlike behavior, as was the national federation.

Philippines federation president Al Panlilio said later Thursday in Manila that “it could have been worse.”

“FIBA was quite fair in the process,” he said, adding he wasn’t sure if the federation would appeal.

Australian player Daniel Kickert was given a five-match ban for unsportsmanlike behavior. Basketball Australia said Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker received a three-game ban and Chris Goulding a one-game suspension. Basketball Australia was also fined $110,000 for removing floor decals a day before the game.

Kickert was seen elbowing a Philippines player in response to a foul on Goulding before the brawl erupted.

Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said it was unlikely the organization would appeal the bans.

“As we stated at the outset, Basketball Australia sincerely regrets the incident,” Moore said.

“We acknowledge the sanctions handed down against Australian players and acknowledge the sanctions imposed against Philippines players and officials involved in the incident. We are seeking further clarification from FIBA about possible sanctions against other officials and fans involved in the incident.”

MORE: U.S. men’s basketball team suffers rare loss in World Cup qualifying

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Australia, Philippines brawl in FIBA World Cup qualifying, leaving 2 on 5

Australia, Philippines
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Thirteen players were ejected — and one chair was thrown — as a brawl between Australia and the host Philippines marred a 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier on Monday.

WIth Australia up 79-48 in the third quarter, the Philippines’ Roger Pogoy and Australia’s Chris Goulding shoved each other with Goulding hitting the floor. It led to another Aussie, former Saint Mary’s star Daniel Kickert, leveling Pogoy.

Chaos ensued and spilled off the court. Somebody not wearing a basketball uniform threw a chair. Play stopped for more than 35 minutes as officials went off the court and determined punishments.

Full video is here.

In the end, nine Philippines players and four Australians were ejected, including former NBA big man Andray Blatche of the Philippines and Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker of Australia.

The teams continued playing, even though the Philippines had just three players. The Philippines intentionally fouled until it was down to one player, at which point the game was called with Australia winning 89-53.

FIBA opened disciplinary proceedings against both teams.

Australia and the Philippines each provisionally advanced to the final round of Asia World Cup qualifying that starts in September.

“Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila,” Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore said. “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 apologize to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”

MORE: U.S. men’s basketball team suffers rare loss in World Cup qualifying

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China becomes ninth team in Olympic men’s basketball field

Yi Jianlian
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China is set to play in its ninth straight Olympic men’s basketball tournament after beating the Philippines 78-67 in the FIBA Asia Championship on Saturday.

The Chinese were guided by former NBA power forward Yi Jianlian, a three-time Olympian who led the team in scoring and rebounding at the last Olympics. Yi scored 11 points with 15 rebounds Saturday.

Yi and company kept the Philippines, with former NBA forward Andray Blatche, from qualifying for the Olympics for the first time since 1972. Blatche scored a team-leading 17 points.

China went 0-5 at London 2012, failing to win a game at an Olympics for the first time since 1992. Now-retired Yao Ming led the team in 2000, 2004 and 2008, but the nation has never reached the Olympic semifinals.

The 2016 Olympic men’s basketball field:

Brazil — Host nation
U.S. — 2014 World champion
Australia — Oceania champion
Nigeria — Africa champion
Argentina — Americas finalist
Venezuela — Americas finalist
Spain — Europe finalist
Lithuania — Europe finalist
China — Asia champion
Three winners of three July global, last-chance qualifying tournaments

The three last-chance qualifying tournament fields will be six nations each, including three to-be-named, wild-card nations, plus these 15 nations:

Serbia — 2014 World silver medalist
France 
— 2014 World bronze medalist
Greece — last Olympics: 2008
Italy — last Olympics: 2004
Czech Republic — last Olympics: Never
Puerto Rico — last Olympics: 2004
Canada — last Olympics: 2000
Mexico — last Olympics: 1976
Iran — last Olympics: 2008
Japan — last Olympics: 1976
Philippines — last Olympics: 1972
Tunisia — only Olympic appearance was 2012
Angola — last Olympics: 2008
Senegal — last Olympics: 1980
New Zealand — last Olympics: 2004

MORE BASKETBALL: Lithuania is second European nation to make Rio hoops field