THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) hopes the possible sanctions by Fiba to the Philippines in the brawl that occurred in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers against Australia will not affect Gilas Pilipinas’ participation in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.
The match between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia on Monday ended in controversial fashion after a brawl erupted following a forearm by Daniel Kickert hit Roger Pogoy in the head, sparking a free-for-all that led to 13 ejections from both camps, nine from the home side.
The incident came more than a month before the Asian Games kicks off in Indonesia on August 18 to September 2 where the Philippine side will see action in the men’s basketball tournament.
Andray Blatche, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and RR Pogoy are part of the Philippine squad for the Asian Games but the five, unfortunately, are part of the nine players who were ejected from the match.
With the Philippines facing possible sanctions from Fiba, POC secretary general Patrick Gregorio hopes the incident will not affect the country’s participation in the Asian Games. He was present in the meeting between PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and Gilas Pilipinas players at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.
“To be honest, one reason why we process this together is because of the Asian Games,” said Gregorio. “We have to anticipate that. We hope that Fiba would consider there in relation to our partner in 2023.”
The Philippines will be jointly hosting the 2023 Fiba World Cup with Indonesia, the host of the 2018 Asian Games.
Gregorio said the Philippines is looking forward to the participation of the country in the Asian Games since Indonesia has been its partner in sports.
“We want to be there. We want to play there. It’s for our countrymen. In behalf of the president of the POC, I hope it will not affect our preparation in the Asian Games. We want to be part of the team,” said Gregorio.
Gregorio said the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) expressed concern over the incident.
“I was telling the PBA players that we have received communication from INASGOC, they are also worried and they are our Southeast Asian partners. I’m sure they don’t want us to be left out. If we are not in the Asian Games, malaking kawalan ‘yun,” said Gregorio.