PERTH, Australia - Fox Sports Australia posted a video on its website to back its claim that Philippine forward Calvin Abueva, not the Boomers' Daniel Kickert, started the pre-game ruckus that led to the infamous brawl of Monday night.
The 20-second video, taken while the two sides were running through their layup line during warm-ups minutes before their 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifier, showed Abueva tripping Kickert from behind near mid-court.
Take a look at the video:
Gilas coach Chot Reyes earlier accused Kickert of starting the pre-game taunting between the two sides, saying the 6-8 Australian bruiser "hit Carl Bryan Cruz, he hit Matthew Wright, he hit Pogoy, and he hit Calvin Abueva, during the warm-ups."
Reyes, who is president of TV5, also appeared in a made-for-television forum on ESPN5 where a video was shown of Kickert pushing Wright during the warm-ups.
“The reality is, Kickert was hitting our players during the warmups," the Gilas coach said.
However, the Fox Sports Australia video showed that Kickert's push on Wright during the warm-ups was in retaliation to the trip by Abueva, apparently thinking it was the former who tripped him.
Even Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore denied Reyes' claim.
“We had the comments of the Filipino coach in relation to incidents in the warm-ups, and we absolutely refute that,” said Moore during a press conference in Australia. “It’s a conversation that we take with the team management. It is something that we don’t believe occurred.”
Moore said Basketball Australia will be presenting its side during the disciplinary hearing to prove that its players never took part in any incidents 'prior to the match.'
“And that will come out as part of the tribunal process that Fiba will take,” said Moore.