SBP, Australia issue joint statement apologizing for brawl

MANILA — Two days after both organizations made separate statements on the much-talked-about brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia early this week, both the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Basketball Australia (BA) issued a joint statement to express apologies over the incident.

“We deeply regret the events that took place during the game. The actions displayed have no place on any basketball court,” the joint statement issued by SBP president Al Panlilio and BA president Ned Coten read.

On Monday night, a bench-clearing brawl ensued between the two teams in the third quarter of their showdown at the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Both SBP and BA said they “fully accept” their responsibilities and are collaborating in the ongoing proceedings to investigate the incident.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening again…. and we look forward to continuing bringing people together in the true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship in future games,” the statement further said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Willie Marcial is set to meet the Gilas national team players and is expected to come up with his own statement later Thursday.