Wild brawl mars Australia-Philippines basketball game
MANILA, Philippines (AP) Basketball’s international governing body has opened disciplinary hearings against Australia and the Philippines after a wild brawl that included Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker broke out in their Basketball World Cup qualifying game Monday.
The fight spilled into the area behind the baseline and video showed a chair being thrown at the back of an Australia player either by a fan or member of the Philippines team staff. Former NBA player Andray Blatche, now playing for the Philippines, appeared to throw multiple punches, while Maker came at a Philippines player with legs flying high as it continued.
A total of 13 players were ejected after the melee that began in the third quarter of Australia’s 89-53 victory following a collision in the lane. The game continued with just three players from the Philippines.
Anthony Moore, chief executive of Australian basketball, apologized to fans in a statement, adding that ”this is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.”
The Australians later tweeted that everyone on their team was safe and well . The Bucks said they would have no comment about Maker.
FIBA says a decision will be announced in the coming days.