BOCAUE — Gilas Pilipinas lost by default to a visiting Australia side in a 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifier marred by one of the worst brawls to mar a basketball played in the country in a long time.
Nine players were ejected after the bench-clearing brawl that ensued at the 4:01 mark of the third quarter, leaving June Mar Fajardo, Baser Amer, and Gabe Norwood to finish the game for the hosts.
The game, however, didn’t last much longer as Fajardo and Norwood deliberately fouled out with 1:57 left in the quarter, allowing Australia to take the 89-53 win.
The Aussies, who lost four players to disqualification, including NBA player Thon Maker, atoned for a shock loss to Japan just last Friday and moved into pole position in Group B with a 5-1 record.
Gilas end up with a 4-2 card, although both teams will advance to the second round of the Asian qualifiers, set to begin in September.
Fajardo got 10 points and a rebound off the bench, but his impressive performance was rudely cut short after he picked up his fourth foul in the second quarter of a hot-tempered game.
Andray Blatche led the Philipines with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, but he, too, was sent to the showers following the melee.
Also thrown out were Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, all of whom are on the floor at the moment of the brawl, as well as Carl Bryan Cruz, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, and Matthew Wright, all of whom stormed from the bench.
Chris Goulding, Daniel Kickert, Thon Maker, and Nathan Sobey were all thrown out from the Boomers' side.
AUSTRALIA 89 — Goulding 20, Kickert 12, Dellavedova 9, Brandt 8, Maker 8, Kay 7, Lisch 7, Sobey 7, Gliddon 6, Drmic 5, Cadee 0, McCarron 0.
PHILIPPINES 53 — Blatche 12, Fajardo 10, Castro 8, Aguilar 6, Romeo 6, Norwood 4, Pogoy 4, Amer 3, Abueva 0, Rosario 0, Wright 0.
Quarters: 23-18, 52-37, 89-53.