What happened at the Philippine Arena during the Philippine-Australia basketball match indeed shocked millions of basketball fanatics worldwide. While totally unexpected from Filipino cagers who have made their names in professional basketball through the highest level of discipline and sportsmanship, what transpired before, during and after that controversial game will surely leave an ugly scar in FIBA history.
Reports say that there was already heat building up even before the actual game began. In my opinion, the unauthorized removal of the decal stickers on the floor of the arena should have already called for an investigation and appropriate sanctionagainst the Aussie players.
First, the decals were surely approved by FIBA and hence has been allowed to be part of the playing court. Second, if the decals indeed made the floor slippery, that doesn’t give the Australians the right to just rip them off from the floor. Apologies have been made, yes, but such display of disregard should not be left undiscussed.Discipline and sportsmanship, most especially during international professional competitions will always entail prudence and respect for fellow athletes and their respective countries.
Our Filipino basketballers may have had their fair share of the glitch, and we do not mean to defend or condone their unsportsmanlike behavior, if their actions during the game are to be taken as such. While a joint apology to the world basketball community has already been made by the Philippines and Australia, the investigation remains an imperative not only to determine the appropriate disciplinary actions for those involved in the brawl, but as well for the incident to be an isolated case in FIBA history.
Basketball is a well-loved sport worldwide, and the 2018FIBA World Cup “basketbrawl” incident cannot just be shrugged off, brushed aside or left for history to judge. The investigation being made should, I think, be no less than detailed, comprehensive and impartial if the integrity of the league is to be kept without doubt.
-Francis N. Tolentino