Gilas loses by default after a bench-clearing brawl with Australia

Gilas Pilipinas 53 – Australia 89 (Australia wins by default)

The final game of Gilas Pilipinas turned ugly in the third quarter as a bench-clearing brawl practically ended the lopsided game.

The game was a heated and physical contest right from the start. With the top spot in Group B up for grabs, the stakes in this game was very high There was a lot of contact and trash-talking from both teams as soon as the game began. Everything boiled over with a little over four minutes left in the third quarter.

RR Pogoy tried to get into the lane and banged bodies with Chris Goulding who fell to the floor. Goulding’s teammate Daniel Kickert took exception to the physical play and leveled Pogoy with a forearm smash. Then all hell broke loose.

Andray Blatch, Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo went at Kickert. The rest of the Australians on the floor joined in on the fray. The Gilas bench emptied with Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar and Troy Rosario all jumping in to defend their teammates. The brawl spilled over to the side of the court where some fans and team officials got involved.

After nearly two minutes, both teams were finally separated and returned to their benches. The officials took their time reviewing the incident in the arena and moving out to the broadcast van for a better look at the footage. The returned after several minutes with their decision.

There were thirteen players total ejected after the fight. Four Australians were removed from the game including Kickert and Goulding. While nine players were ejected from Gilas. Pogoy, Blatche, Castro, Romeo, Abueva, Cruz, Wright, Aguilar and Rosario were all ejected, leaving only three players available for Gilas.

Surprisingly, the game still pushed through as Australia fielded five men against Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo and Baser Amer, the only players left available for Gilas. Fajardo and Norwood were then instructed to use up their remaining fouls to end the game with a little over two minutes left in the third period.

Before the brawl, Australia held a commanding lead over Gilas. They were on fire for most of the game. Gilas tried to keep it close in the first quarter, staying within striking distance at nine points. The Australians dropped a 9-0 run in the second quarter to open up a double-digit lead. Their outside shooting continued to click for most of the third quarter as they fully pulled away from Gilas, leading by 31 points until the incident happened.

Australia shot a searing 61% for the game including 50% from beyond the arc, hitting 13 treys. Gilas wasn’t the same sharp team that blew out Chinese-Taipei a few days earlier. They hand 18 turnovers and could only muster 40% shooting.

Gilas takes second seed in Group B with a 4-2 record. Both teams are waiting for the FIBA decision after their role in that incident.