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Play abandoned after brawl at Boomers and Philippines basketball match
A brawl has seen Australia's FIBA World Cup qualifying clash with the Philippines in Bulacan abandoned, after 13 players were ejected from the match.
Tensions boiled over as the Boomers were cruising to victory with a 79-48 lead with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, with players and officials from both sides, plus a number of unruly fans, flooding the court in disgraceful scenes of violence.
The melee commenced when Philippines guard Roger Ray Pogoy lashed out at Australia's Chris Goulding with an errant elbow. Boomer Daniel Kickert's retaliation on Pogoy sparked an all-in brawl which Fox Sports commentator Matt Russell described as "sickening", and which included punches, elbows, kicks and objects - including a chair - hurled at players.
The game was interrupted for more than 30 minutes as the referees assessed the situation, but eventually continued in ridiculous fashion, with the Philippines only able to field three players against Australia's five.
Basketball Australia said on social media that all the Boomers team were safe and well after the incident.
International rules state that games must continue unless a team only has a single player available and the remaining Filipino players eventually fouled themselves out of the game, which was called off before the end of the third quarter.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Anthony Moore issued a short statement after the match, advising "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."
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) also responded quickly, saying further punishments will be handed down in due course.
In a statement, the sport’s world governing body advised “following the incident that occurred in the third quarter of the Philippines-Australia game on Monday in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, FIBA will now open disciplinary proceedings against both teams.
"The decision(s) will be communicated in the coming days."
Image shows today's brawl between Philippines players and the Boomers.
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