Australian Boomers involved in massive brawl with Philippines

Australian Boomers | Credit: FIBA

The Australian Boomers were involved in a nasty incident Monday night in the final game of the first round of FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Midway through the third quarter of a hotly contested contest, an offensive foul on Chris Goulding sparked one of the biggest basketball brawls in recent memory. Following the offensive foul, Daniel Kickert accelerated the situation by throwing an elbow at the Philippines’ Roger Ray Pogoy. What followed was absolute madess.

The ensuring brawl saw the entire Filipino team seemingly getting involved in the incident. Kickert, along with Thon Maker and many Filipino players could face sanctions for their roles in the altercation.

The Boomers were leading 79-48 at the time of the incident.

Officially, 13 players were ejected from the game for their actions. Four Australian – Nathan Sobey, Thon Maker, Chris Goudling and Daniel Kickert – along with nine of the 12 members of the Filipino roster were given their marching orders.

Farcically, the game briefly continued for another three minutes, with the Phillipines returning to the court with only three eligible players. The remaining Filipino players deliberately accumulated fouls and, one by one, were disqualified from the game until there were no eligible players remaining. The game was called with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter, with Australia leading 89-53.

Where to start after all that? It goes without saying the scenes witnessed on Monday night will be talked about for the weeks and months ahead.

Actions from many involved with the Filipino team were obviously unacceptable, and long term sanctions are unavoidable. Their apparent mischief in the aftermath was revealing.

For the Boomers, the prospect of sanctions must also be addressed.

Kickert is likely facing a long, and deserved, suspension for his role on the incident. His elbow to the face of Pogoy was the accelerant needed to set ablaze a game that had been getting more physical with every passing moment.

Maker will be looked at, with the vision of his leg flailing through the air not doing him any favours. Although it must be said that all of what followed Kickert’s elbow was accelerated by shameless aggression from the Filipino players.

Vision of Goulding being pinned to the ground and assaulted (there is no other way to describe what transpired) is confronting and not befitting of any sporting contest. Unacceptable is too mild a word; it was outrageous and serious outcomes were not far away.

In the aftermath, relief is a feeling that comes to mind for all involved with Australian basketball. As ugly as this evening turned out, things could have been much worse. It appears all involved with the Australian team have escaped the incident without serious physical injury.

Update:

Basketball Australia confirmed that everyone on the team is safe.

Thon Maker talked about the incident on his Instagram account.

Olgun Uluc reflects on the repercussions on what this could mean for Australia’s Boomers moving forward.

FIBA has announced that it will open disciplinary proceedings against both teams.

Watch Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore as he addressed the media on this incident.

5 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Australia really were arrogant and rude visitors. Imagine if a foreign team came here and ripped up the sponsorship stickers of the most loyal and important sponsors, started a pre game scuffle and then when up 30 a 6’10 cheap shot elbow to the head a point guard.

    Really ashamed of the boomers coaches and support staff along with Kickert. Also disgusted with Gilas actions.

  2. Ben Wilson says:

    Sad day for basketball.

    Sad one of my favourite players in thon maker was involved.

    I just don’t understand why Goulding and sobey were given ejections.

    The coach for Phillipines in the preceding timeout urged his players to hit the Aussies…..I hope FIBA and phillipines basketball association studies this vision and he is sacked.

    Some players who were not even in uniform assaulted Goulding and Sobey who were defenseless…thepse playersand or staff should be given life bans….had no business getting involved.

    I am glad they made the ejections on the court rather then just calling it off. At least then for all those making Ludacris comments about the game there is some value in that 9 ejections versus 4 gives people an idea of how one sided this was.

    Thankyou to the local announcer who tried to bring order and called out the local team and to respect the visitors and the game of basketball.

  3. Robert Smith says:

    This is not the way Aussie basketball would have chosen to get video on every news or sports web site in the world. But it worked.

  4. Rick says:

    Hey Dave,

    Maybe the Aussies should have talked to Stadium management first, but they were slipping over on the stickers so removed them for safety reasons.They were involved in a pre game scuffle but didn’t necessarily start it as one of the Filipino players attempted to trip up Kickert. I have no idea why you are ashamed of the Boomers coaching and support staff as they acted in an amazingly professional way during the incident and limited it as much as possible.

  5. John Smythe says:

    Loved it! Only thing that’s disappointing is the lack of unity from the Aussie bench not running out to protect there mates! Longley & Bradtke should be sacked for not protecting the team!

    Don’t expect any NBA players to participant in these types of games again but if the last time we see Thon Maker in a boomers jersey is of him flying kicking dudes I’ll die a happy man!

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