MANILA, Philippines – A mass brawl erupted at an international basketball match between the Philippines and Australia on Monday, with players trading flying kicks and punches in extraordinary scenes which stunned onlookers.
Can’t believe the footage I have seen from tonight’s basketball match between #Philippines & @BasketballAus in #Manila… Surely some serious ramifications? I know the Filipinos love boxing but that’s insane! pic.twitter.com/ox1CH4dksC
— Charlie Burke (@Burkey_99) July 2, 2018
Fighting spilled off the court as the game at the Philippine Arena outside Manila descended into farce, with officials powerless to restore order.
Footage of the melee even showed a chair being thrown in the area behind the baseline.
The fracas kicked off after a Philippine player appeared to catch an opponent with an elbow and the ensuing clashes saw a total of nine Philippine players and four Australians sent off.
In a bizarre twist, the Philippines team later posed for a group selfie.
Australian journalist Alex Hart tweeted: “What a disgrace. So many in the wrong, almost none in the right. Shameful for both Australia and the Philippines.”
Basketball’s governing body FIBA warned it will open disciplinary proceedings against both teams following the brawl at the Asian qualifiers for basketball’s 2019 World Cup.
The chief executive of Basketball Australia Anthony Moore apologised for the violence.
“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.”
He added: “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.”