D-Day comes for Gilas Pilipinas and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is set to hand out its verdict Thursday on the full-blown fight that marred the game between the Philippines and Australia during their FIBA World Cup qualifier two weeks ago at the Philippine Arena.
The world governing body completed its investigation exactly a week after both parties were given deadline to submit their respective positions on the events that transpired in one of the worst brawls to ever mar an international basketball tournament.
SPIN.ph learned top officials of the SBP has scheduled an emergency meeting late in the afternoon as they await the possible FIBA sanctions and suspensions on the personalities involved.
A total of 13 players, including nine from Gilas, were ejected from the game for participating in the free-for-all in the third period.
Roger Pogoy, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright and Carl Bryan Cruz were among those tossed out from the Gilas side, while Daniel Kickert, Nathan Sobey, Thon Maker and Christopher Goulding were the Aussies banned from the opposing side.
Pogoy shoved Goulding on the floor, prompting Kickert to retaliate by decking the Cebuano guard with a forearm.
All hell broke loose from there.
With the ejection, Gilas was left with only three players in June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer to continue the game, which ended at the 1:57 mark of the third and Australia winning by default, 89-53.
SBP officials are bracing for the worst, with fines and suspensions coming, but is keeping their fingers crossed the country’s 2023 hosting of the FIBA World Cup won’t be affected.
With the nine players likely to face sanctions, Gilas will also be forced to dig deep into its training pool to make up for their absence for the second round of the World Cup qualifiers in September.