PBA to meet Gilas players after fight-marred FIBA match
MANILA, Philippines – The PBA said it has invited Gilas Pilipinas players for a closed-door meeting on Thursday, July 5, to discuss the bench-clearing brawl involving Australia that erupted at the Philippine Arena on Monday, July 2.
Nine Gilas cagers were ejected in the fight-abbreviated contest, with Australia winning by default as the Philippines did not have enough players for the game to continue even with 14 minutes left in the clock. Australia was leading, 89-53, when the game was stopped.
"PBA invites Gilas Pilipinas players to a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss the incident that happened in their game against Australia," the league posted on its official Facebook account.
As of press time, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has yet to reply to Rappler when asked if the involved players could face potential sanctions and penalties. (READ: SBP apologizes for FIBA brawl incident)
Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Andray Blatche, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, Carl Bryan Cruz and Matthew Wright were thrown out while Gilas pool players Allein Maliksi and Jio Jalalon were seen hitting the visiting Aussies.
Only June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer were not ejected. (LOOK: Amer, Norwood, Fajardo stay calm amid chaos)
The duel was the final game for both teams in the first round of the Asian Qualifiers of the FIBA World Cup. Both teams advance to the second round with Australia at the top of Group B with a 5-1 card and the Philippines at second with a 4-2 slate.
Gilas also lost to Australia in the second window of the Qualifiers back in February, absorbing a 16-point beating in Melbourne.
The 15-man Gilas pool – entirely composed of PBA players excluding Gilas cadet Troy Rike – return to their mother teams as the league enters the homestretch of the elimination round of the Commissioner's Cup.
Fajardo's San Miguel Beermen will face Maliksi's Blackwater Elite while Jalalon's Magnolia Hotshots duke it out against the NLEX Road Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, July 4. – Rappler.com