Basketball Australia (BA) will not appeal the sanctions that stemmed from the Boomers’ ugly brawl with the Philippines in their World Cup qualifier in Manila this month.
Three Boomers players — Daniel Kickert, NBA star Thon Maker and Chris Goulding — received bans from the sport’s governing body FIBA for their role in the melee, which also saw BA slapped with a $135,000 fine.
“Our legal advice examined a range of appeal options,” BA chief executive Anthony Moore said in a statement.
“However, the chances of success under the FIBA appeal process are very low so we have decided to pursue these matters with FIBA independent of the appeal process.”
Thirteen players and two coaches from both teams were sanctioned by FIBA following the incident in the Asian qualifying fixture in Bulacan on July 2, which was eventually abandoned, with Kickert suspended for five World Cup qualifiers, Maker for three and Goulding one.
The Philippines’ Jason William (C) jumps to hit Australia’s Daniel Kickert during the sickening brawl. (AP: Bullit Marquez)
Kickert, Maker and Goulding were disciplined by the FIBA disciplinary panel for unsportsmanlike behaviour, however Kickert and Goulding were also sanctioned for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour.
BA was handed the fine for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its players and “for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game”.
Tensions boiled over with four minutes remaining in the third quarter of the game, with players and officials from both sides, plus a number of unruly fans, flooding the court in disgraceful scenes of violence.
The Boomers were cruising to victory with a 79-48 lead before the game descended into farce after Filipino player Roger Pogoy lashed out at Goulding with an errant elbow.
Kickert’s retaliation on Pogoy sparked the all-in brawl, which included punches, elbows, kicks and objects — including a chair — hurled at players.
The game was interrupted for more than 30 minutes as the referees assessed the situation, but eventually continued in ridiculous fashion, with the Philippines only able to field three players against Australia’s five.
Thirteen players were sanctioned for taking part in the brawl between Australia and the Philippines. (Supplied: Fox Sports)
Ten members of the Philippines squad were suspended for a total of 34 games for unsportsmanlike behaviour, with Pogoy given a five-game ban, which also related to inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Philippines head coach Vincent Reyes was given a one-game suspension and a $14,000 disciplinary fine and his assistant Joseph Uichico was banned for three games. Its national federation was fined $337,000.
FIBA also announced the Philippines squad “will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period” of three years.
The referees who officiated the game were also suspended by FIBA for 12 months.