FOLLOWING the chaotic bench-clearing brawl that involved the Philippines and Australia in their 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifying game on Monday, not a few fans wondered why the game still continued despite the home team having only three players left.
Nine Gilas Pilipinas players were thrown out for their participation in the now-infamous incident, leaving only June Mar Fajardo, Baser Amer, and Gabe Norwood on the Philippine Arena court.
But the game still progressed despite being halted at the 4:01 mark of the third quarter, with the Boomers leading, 79-48.
So, why is that?
Fiba's Official Basketball Rules show that there is a provision before a team can lose a game via default.
Article 21.1. states that, "A team shall lose a game by default if, during the game, the team has fewer than 2 players on the playing court ready to play."
Gilas had three players who escaped penalties for the fracas, which was more than enough for Fiba to keep the game going, not minding if it puts one team at a disadvantage.
It didn't take long, though, as Gilas deliberately committed fouls, with Fajardo picking up his disqualifying fifth foul, before Norwood followed suit as well.
At that point, not even a miracle could help Amer, who was left to fend for himself, as the officials finally abandoned the game at the 1:57 mark of the third frame, with Australia leading, 89-53.
The Boomers took the victory and progressed to the second round of the Asian qualifiers with a 5-1 record, while Gilas settles for its 4-2 card.
Still, there's no denying how bizarre the scene was, seeing three blue jerseys playing a little over two minutes of basketball against five men wearing their yellow uniforms.
Then again, we've seen weirder things happen.