Australia’s FIBA World Cup qualifier with the Philippines descended into mayhem following a mass brawl.
A melee broke out in the third quarter of the match in Bocaue, north of Manila, and players from either side appeared to throw punches and aim kicks at opponents in scuffles that resulted in 13 players being ejected.
The ugly scenes began when Australia’s Daniel Kickert blindsided Roger Pogoy with a forearm to the face in response to the Philippines player pushing Chris Goulding to the floor.
Jayson Castro then appeared to strike Kickert with a flying punch to the face as other players from the Filipinos’ bench hurdled the hoardings to become involved in escalating trouble.
A series of scuffles ensued, including one on the floor behind the hoardings at one end of the court where Australia’s Nathan Sobey was hit with a chair that was thrown at him.
The two teams were eventually separated and the Filipinos risked irking their opponents again prior to the restart when several of their players were bizarrely involved in an on-court selfie.
After a lengthy delay, four Australians – Goulding, Sobey, Kickert and NBA player Thon Maker – were all kicked out of the game along with nine Filipinos.
The Philippines were left with just three players and they eventually fouled out to give Australia an automatic 89-53 win.
In a statement posted on Basketball Australia’s website, chief executive Anthony Moore said: “Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila.
“We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it.
“This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.
“We apologise to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”