BOCAUE, BULACAN – A bench-clearing brawl in the third period of the
Philippines-Australia match last July 1 resulted in nine Filipinos
getting ejected and two more eventually fouling out thus forcing
officials to declare Australia the winner by default, 89-53, in
continuing action from the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the
The visiting Boomers were way ahead with 4:01 remaining in the third,
79-48, after Australian Dan Kickert leveled Roger Pogoy who fouled
Boomer Chris Goulding while on offense. Kickert’s elbow on the Gilas
player triggered a melee that involved more players and a few fans
that pelted the court with debris. After a 30-minute lull, the
referees threw out nine Filipinos and four Australians forcing the
host to play with the trio of foul-plagued Junemar Fajardo, Gabe
Norwood and Baser Amer who had yet to see action.
After a plea for sobriety from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
President Al Panlilio, play resumed and Fajardo and Norwood picked up
their fifth foul one after the other so the referees put a halt to the
game with 1:57 left. It was a bitter ending for the hosts who were
clearly outclassed by the visitors since the opening tip.
NBA veterans Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks
combined well with fellow starters Goulding, Kevin Lisch and Nick Kay
for crisp passing and sharp three-point shooting to jump to a 19-10
lead. The Philippines would cut the gap by period’s end with Fajardo
and Terrence Romeo coming off the bench, 23-18, but the Aussie
reserves sustained the attack as they extended the margin by halftime,
There was already trouble brewing during the pre-game warm-ups as
security had to separate both teams after one of the Boomers allegedly
got into contact with one of the Filipinos as they crossed paths. Add
to that the incident on the eve of the game wherein the Australians
removed sponsor stickers on the Philippine Arena floor during their
practice also added to the tensions.
Goulding was one of the four Boomers given the boot after the brawl
but he still topped his side with 20 points, 13 coming in the third
period. Dan Kickert, who was also ejected, followed with points.
Andray Blatche paced the hosts with 12 points from four out of 12
shooting plus 10 rebounds. Fajardo followed with 10 points despite
early foul trouble.
Australia thus topped Group B with a 5-1 win-loss card. The
Philippines came in second at 4-2 and will also advance to the second
round of the qualifiers together with Japan who eliminated
Chinese-Taipei in the day’s other game, 108-68.
Waiting for them in the second round are Group D early qualifiers Iran
and Kazakhstan. The third spot will be disputed by Qatar and Iraq on
the final day of action.
AUSTRALIA (89) – Goulding 20, Kickert 12, Dellavedova 9, Maker 8,
Brandt 8, Sobey 7, Lisch 7, Kay 7, Gliddon 6, Drmic 5, Cadee 0,
PHILIPPINES (53) – Blatche 12, Fajardo 10, Castro 8, Romeo 6, Aguilar
6, Norwood 4, Pogoy 4, Amer 3, Abueva 0, Rosario 0, Wright 0.