Chot Reyes blames Daniel Kickert for Gilas-Boomers brawl at 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier

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Both the Australian Boomers and Gilas Pilipinas are expecting penalty from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). On July 2, 2018, a brawl between Australia and the Philippines’ respective national basketball teams transpired at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

Speaking to the media after the incident, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes vehemently defended his team. He explained his players’ behavior and put the blame on Daniel Kickert of the Boomers.

“It’s up to FIBA in the end, but we have to face those consequences because it is what it is,” ESPN quoted Reyes as saying. “But one thing that they have to know about this team is that we’re not going to back down. This team remains solid, we have each other’s back and we have each other.”

According to Reyes, the feud started when Kickert started pushing some Gilas Pilipinas players during warm-ups. The coach enumerated Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy and Calvin Abueva as the Australian baller’s victims.

The brawl at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier started when Pogoy committed a hard offensive foul on Chris Goulding of the Boomers. In response, Kickert decked the Gilas Pilipinas player from behind.

“The foul of Pogoy on Goulding was an offensive foul, and it was a basketball play,” Reyes explained. However, it was Kickert who came in and decked Pogoy for the fifth time, the Gilas Pilipinas coach pointed out.

Whatever Kicket’s motives is, there is no excuse for him doing what he did to the Gilas Pilipinas players during the warm-up, Reyes said. Still, the coach acknowledged that what transpired between the Philippine and Australian basketball national teams was wrong.

“Well, it’s unfortunate,” Reyes said. “We didn’t want it to happen. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

The 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier marked the sixth time Kickert played for the Boomers. He also played for the team when it won its first tile at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.

A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, Kickert went undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft. In the NBL, he played for Melbourne United for the 2014-2015 season and for the Brisbane Bullets for the next two seasons.

On April 27, 2018, Kickert signe with the Sydney Kings. He has a two-year deal with a team option for the second year.

In 2017, Kickert was featured in “In Their Own Words” on NBL TV. Here is a clip:

Manny Pacquiao reacts to Gilas vs Boomers fight at 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier

Buboy Fernandez, Michael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao, Eric Gomez, Lucas Matthysse, Mario Arano
Buboy Fernandez, Michael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao, Eric Gomez, Lucas Matthysse, Mario Arano

A boxing match is not something you expect to see in a basketball game, so when the Philippine national basketball team Gilas Pilipinas had a brawl against its Australian counterpart called the Australian Boomers at a 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier, the internet broke. Among those who reacted to the chaos was Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who is also an incumbent senator in the Philippines.

The continental 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier took place at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines on July 2, 2018. With 4:01 left in the third quarter and the Boomers in control, 79-48, the audience was shocked when players from Gilas Pilipinas and the Boomers exchanged punches, kicks and shoves.

All hell broke loose when Daniel Kickert of the Boomers clipped Gilas Pilipinas guard Roger Pogoy with a blindside hit. Filipino players Jayson Castro, Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario and Carl Bryan Cruz as well as Australian players Thon Maker, Nathan Sobey and Christopher Goulding were involved in the chaos.

The game ended 89-53 with the Boomers winning by default. Hours later, FIBA announced that both the Boomers and Gilas Pilipinas will be penalized because of the incident.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao has yet to release an official statement regarding the brawl. The multihyphenate served as the playing coach of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team Kia Sorento, which was renamed from Mahindra Enforcer to Mahindra Floodbuster to Kia Picanto its current name Columbian Dyip.

Pacquiao is scheduled to compete for the WBA welterweight world title against Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse of Argentina at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 14, 2018. The Filipino boxing legend is currently training his MP Boxing Gym in his hometown of General Santos City in the Philippines with his coach and best friend Buboy Fernandez.

Watch the brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and the Boomers at 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier in Bocaue here: