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SBP submits position on Gilas-Aussies brawl

By Jonas Terrado

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) have began playing the waiting game after submitting to world governing body FIBA Friday evening its position regarding the infamous brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia last July 2 at the Philippine Arena.

SBP President Al Panlilio said the federation filed its position paper about 11 hours before the 6 a.m. Saturday morning deadline which was set by FIBA as part of the disciplinary proceedings that began shortly after the two teams traded blows in the third quarter of their World Cup Qualifiers match.

It is unknown when will FIBA finalize its sanctions but Panlilio expects a decision to be rendered within one to two weeks.

Panlilio had earlier expressed a “hope for the best, bracing for the worst” attitude with regards to the punishments which saw multiple Gilas players and even assistant coach Jong Uichico taking part in the fight that began when Australia’s Daniel Kickert elbowed Roger Pogoy with 4:01 left in the third.

Many are expecting suspensions from players involved, at least on the international front, which will leave SBP with no choice but to search for players in the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers which starts in September.

However, likely suspensions to Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Andray Blatche, Pogoy and Troy Rosario may force Gilas to possibly miss next month’s Indonesia Asian Games if the suspensions also carry over to the quadrennial meet.

Panlilio said on Wednesday that the SBP is mulling the possibility of skipping the Asiad depending on the length of the FIBA sanctions.

“I would assume if there are sanctions and then that’s the first international competition that we join, it’s a value question, it’s a moral question,” said Panlilio.