Asian Games 2018

Asian Games 2018: more woe for organisers as Philippines withdraws from basketball event after Fiba brawl ruling

Philippine basketball authority announces it ‘would not be optimal’ to participate in the regional Games as it needed to ‘regroup’ after Fiba decision

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 12:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 10:58pm

The fallout from the incredible mass brawl between Philippines and Australia earlier this month continued on Thursday when the basketball-mad nation announced it would be withdrawing from the upcoming Asian Games to focus on an appeal over its Fiba suspension.

The Philippine basketball authority, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), announced it “would not be optimal” to participate in the regional Games as it needed to “regroup” to appeal the global governing body’s decision.

Fiba handed down suspensions to 13 members of both teams after the ugly incident during a World Cup qualifier in Bulacan. The two coaches were banned and almost US$360,000 was issued in fines.

SBP’s Thursday statement offered apologies to organisers of beleaguered Asiad which has been marred in the build-up by reports of extrajudicial killings by the Jakarta police force and revelations that venues and facilities still require a good deal of work before they are ready for purpose.

“... To allow our national team and our organisation to regroup, prepare for the process of appealing the Fiba disciplinary panel’s recent decision, and aim for sustainable success in future tournaments,” read the statement, “... we have reached the conclusion that, with the forgoing considered and after consulting with the basketball community, the time and chance to participate in the 2018 Asian Games would not be optimal.”

Philippines basketball brawl: Australia inflamed issue by ripping up decals from court, admits chief

There had been much excitement surrounding the make-up of a new-look Philippines squad for the Games after NBA player Jordan Clarkson was released by the Cleveland Cavaliers to participate in Indonesia.

Fiba handed down its ruling on the Bulacan incident last week, and it is thought that four key members of the Filipino Asian Games squad were among those banned.

Philippines were fancied to make a run at the medals in Jakarta, ranked third behind China and South Korea, and their withdrawal is another blow for Asian Games organisers.

Basketball brawl: Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes urged players to ‘hit somebody’, claim Australia

Earlier this week, organisers were criticised over their handling of a bungled drawing process for the men’s soccer event, which saw two teams left out, and there was another high-profile withdrawal when Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei announced he would not be competing at the August 18 to September 2 quadrennial.