Thirteen Players Banned After Wild Basketball Fight

Aussie and Philippines players banned, fined after wild brawl.

Three Australian players and 10 from the Philippines have received suspensions from basketball's international governing body, after the wild "basket-brawl" in this month's World Cup qualifiers.

Two Philippines coaches and the game's officiating crew have also been banned for several matches after the fight that brought the sport into disrepute.

FIBA called the incident a "violent brawl", with players and coaches involved in a fight that saw flying kicks, coward punches and chairs thrown. Thirteen players were ejected from the game, and the match eventually abandoned after more Philippines players fouled out.

Thon Maker (centre) of Australia attempts to kick Terrence Romeo of the Philippines. EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

"FIBA launched a disciplinary proceeding right after the game and referred the matter to its Disciplinary Panel, which has now issued two decisions," the body said.

Three Aussie players have been banned for unsportsmanlike conduct, for between one and five games, as well as Basketball Australia being ordered to pay a $135,000 fine.

"The following 3 players are suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior and, in the case of Chris Goulding and Daniel Kickert, also for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior: Chris Goulding (1 game), Thon Maker (3 games) and Daniel Kickert (5 games). No sanction is imposed on Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee," FIBA said.

"Basketball Australia shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 100,000 for the unsportsmanlike behavior 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."

The Philippines' Jason William, centre, jumps to hit Australia's Daniel Kickert (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Basketball Australia said it was "unlikely" it would appeal the ruling.

Ten Philippines players have also been banned for unsportsmanlike conduct, for between one and six games.

"Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico is suspended for 3 games for unsportsmanlike behavior. Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes is suspended for 1 game and shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 10,000 (AUD $13,500) for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior," FIBA said.

"Philippines' national federation, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game."

"Philippines 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 3 years. SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 250,000 [AUD$337,000]"

FIBA said proceeds from the fines would be used to support the "Basketball for Good" social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation.

Australian Thon Maker, one of those banned, apologised for his actions in the hours after the fight.

FIBA also issued one-year sanctions against the match officials who oversaw the game and fight.

"Furthermore, following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA (including at Zone and Sub-zone level) for a period of one year," the association said.

"FIBA wishes to emphasize that it condemns any form of violence, both on and off the court. Respect, sportsmanship and professionalism are expected from players, coaches, officials and all other stakeholders at every game. Moreover, host countries must ensure the highest standards of organizational conditions are in place to guarantee the safety and well-being of players and other participants at all times."

More to come.