FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Australia apologizes over Philippine Arena incident
Paul Lintag on Jul 02, 2018 07:15 PM
On Sunday, the Australian team took out the decals during a closed-door practice, complaining that they were slippery. (Photo from Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News)
After a stange incident Sunday where alleged members of the Australian delegation ripped off sponsored decals at the Philippine Arena, the Boomers have issued an apology over the matter.
On Sunday, the Australian team took out the decals during a closed-door practice, complaining that they were slippery.
While that's a valid reason for safety measures, the only problem is the fact that the Australians never bothered to ask permission from local authorities before the decals were removed.
"We want basketball to be the winner. We also want to have a safe but respectful environment. We are very happy with the new court decals. Our concerns were alleviated," Mark Bradtke of the Australian Basketball Federation said in a statement.
"Our intentions were pure in rectifying what was potentially a player safety issue for all participants. As our loss against Japan shows, this is a very tough competition, and we wanted the best environment for all players whose health and safety is critical," he added.
The sponsored decals are FIBA approved and have been used in previous windows at the Araneta Coliseum for the Gilas-Taipei game and at the MOA Arena for the Gilas-Japan showdown.
Sahamang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan shared a video of the incident Sunday evening and it naturally drew the ire of many, most especially the local organizers.
On Monday around three hours before tip off, the decals were re-installed.
"We never intended to be disrespectful or to challenge Philippine basketball. The Philippine basketball federation and the players are our friends and neighbors, but also a very tough opponent that we respect very much," the statement continued.
"The issue was resolved with great help and quick response from Philippine basketball and FIBA. We look forward to using this situation as a building block for basketball to having the best environment for all participants, officials, and fans, and lastly, to maintain our great relations with Philippine basketball," Bradtke added.
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