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Mass brawl erupts in Australia, Philippines basketball game

The Gilas Pilipinas national team huddle up after their practice at the Philippine Arena. Mark Demayo ABS-CBN News

Goulding's teammate Daniel Kickert retaliated to prompt a free-for-all with the crowd getting involved.

Members of the Australian team after the melee that disrupted the FIBA World Cup qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Monday.

Australian journalist Alex Hart tweeted: "What a disgrace".

In further freakish scenes after the game was abandoned, the Filipino team were seen smiling and taking selfies on court, something Moore described as "strange".

"I can't speculate on what the sanctions will be because we're actually in new territory in this regard", Moore said.

"We want to work with FIBA on the tribunal and get that outcome and we'll assess our outcomes from there". "We will wait for the referee's decision, but please I would like us to respect the game".

Nathan Sobey was also singled out in the fight when more than ten Filipino players set upon him outside of the court.

In what was just his second game for his national team, Maker contributed eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes, while Dellavedova also chipped in with nine points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds in 15 minutes.

The Philippines was left with just two eligible players before the match was halted at the end of the third quarter.

"Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight's match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila".

This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Moore reiterated his sentiments but criticised the involvement of the home fans in the brawl.

"You see little altercations between players on court, but when it spills over you've got the Filipino bench, staff coming on and throwing punches, throwing chairs, it was a frightening situation."
"So, we find that an extraordinary allegation." .

Philippines coach Vincent Reyes blamed Australia's Kickert for the brawl, claiming he provoked his side.

"The brawl is absolutely unacceptable but the reality is Kickert was hitting our players during the warm-ups", Reyes said.

"He hit Carl Bryan Cruz, he hit Matthew Wright, Pogoy and he hit Calvin Abueva during the warm-ups".

But if their side is routed by suspensions it will make things hard for one of the world's fastest growing basketball populations, in short this game could cost them a world cup place and basketball will be poorer for it.

"My hope is that this experience provides a springboard for discussion regarding the security surrounding these games", said the South Sudan-born Milwaukee Bucks centre, who was ejected from the match.