THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) hopes the full-scale brawl that marred the Fiba World Cup qualifier between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia on Monday night won’t lead to a new round of suspension for the country’s basketball federation.
SBP president Al Panlilio is keeping his fingers crossed that punishment Fiba would hand out in the wake of one of the worst brawls in basketball history won't include a suspension for the association.
“We have not seen incidents like this where the federation is suspended,” said Panlilio Tuesday after he and Gilas coach Chot Reyes appeared in a made-for-television forum at the TV5 office in Reliance, Mandaluyong.
“I’m hoping hindi naman. But we don’t know.”
The Philippines was suspended by Fiba in 2005-06 due to a leadership dispute within the then Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP).
The world’s governing body didn't reinstate the association until a new federation was formed under the leadership of Manny V. Pangilinan.
The suspension however, came with a huge cost as the country failed to compete in the basketball competition of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games held here and the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.
“I think the federation was suspended like what happened to us in 2006, which is more of internal fighting,” said Panlilio, adding the case similar in nature to what happened to the basketball federation of Japan and Russia where leadership disputes also led to their suspensions.
“But (the suspension was) not because of an incident on the court.”
“Kaya it’s important for me that when FIBA reviews it, it (incident) would be in its full context,” said the amiable SBP head.
Panlilio though is bracing for a stiffer penalty likely to be imposed on both teams and players, saying there was already a precedent before when a brawl occurred during a game between Greece and Serbia in 2010.
The suspensions to the players, including Serbian Nenad Kirstic were carried out during the early rounds of the FIBA World Championship held later that year.
“There have already been a precedent, I was told where players were fined and suspended for international games,” he said. “Even the federations were also fined.
“So it wouldn’t surprise me if we get something like that kasi meron nang precedent, so maybe there would some form of sanctions.”