Boomers beat Gilas in highly emotional, fight-shortened match

Kristopher Nichols
July 3, 2018

Australian basketball players feared for their safety after a World Cup qualifier in the Philippines descended into an extraordinary mass brawl, the sport's domestic governing body has said.

The game then continued, with Australia's starting five facing the three remaining Filipino team players.

Caught up in the middle of it: the Milwaukee Bucks' and Australia's Thon Maker (No. 7 in yellow), who jumped into the center of the ruckus and at one point attempted a drop-knee.

The Boomers defeated the Philippines 89-53 to top their Asian qualifying group in a match that had to end early when the hosts ran out of players shortly after the third quarter ejections. That would leave only 8 players left to finish the game as a 3 on 5.

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

But the fallout from this shocking incident could have huge ramifications for both nations ahead of the next round of qualifiers with FIBA sure to hand out severe punishments.

Both benches emptied, with punches were thrown from both camps.

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We also want to have a safe but respectful environment.

Australian and Philippines players brawl on court.

Thon Maker has released a statement taking responsibility for his role in the brawl and expressing his deep disappointment in the entire fiasco.

"You've seen the [videos on] social media where [Boomers player] Nathan Sobey is being assaulted by a fan, we've got Chris Goulding [under] a pack of players and officials, prone on the court". Both players were ejected along with 11 other players.

"It's a pretty dark day", he said.

VideoThe Australian Boomers have become involved in a massive brawl in a basketball match against the Philippines.

BA will also have pause about returning to the Philippines for games in future although they would face "significant ramifications" if they refused to play there.

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