Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker in brawl during FIBA qualifying game

The Gilas Pilipinas national team huddle up after their practice at the Philippine Arena. Mark Demayo ABS-CBN News

A FIBA World Cup qualifying game between Australia and the Philippines has erupted into shocking all-in fist fight in the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The game was halted at the 4:01 mark of the third period with the Boomers comfortably ahead, 79-48.

Milwaukee Bucks NBA star Thon Maker launched a flying knee at a group of opposing players, while Philippines centre Andray Blatche blindsided an Australian player with a punch in the back of the head.

For some background, Australia and the Philippines (known in basketball as Gilas Pilipinas) are competing in the Asia/Oceania qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will take place in China from August 31-September 15, 2019.

Andray Blatche, who played for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets during a nine-year National Basketball Association career and now plays for the Philippines, was also involved in the brawl and ejected.

The fight was sparked when Boomers guard Chris Goulding was knocked to the floor and Aussie forward Daniel Kickert stepped in.


Nine players from Gilas - Pogoy, Andray Blatche, Troy Rosario, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Japeth Aguilar, and Matthew Wright - were hit with disqualifying fouls and ejected.

The game was eventually called when Gilas was left with only one player.

"I just want to appeal to everybody to please settle down". We are hosting this game, and this is basketball.

"We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it", he added.

While waiting for the referees' decision, long-time Gilas anchor Marc Pingris went to the court and gathered the players. "We apologise to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down".

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