FIBA: Gilas boys starting to issue apologies for infamous brawl against Boomers

Paul Lintag on Jul 03, 2018 06:10 PM
FIBA: Gilas boys starting to issue apologies for brawl
Several members of the national team have since apologized via their respective social media accounts.

MANILA, Philippines --- Less than 24 hours after the unfortunate brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, it seems like the Pinoys have come to their senses.

Several members of the national team have since apologized via their respective social media accounts.

No player, except for Matthew Wright, granted interviews Monday at the Philippine Arena following the game, which the Philippines ended up losing by default.

[Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl]

Posting on his Instagram account, Andray Blatche says he made some wrong decisions in the heat of the moment.

The naturalized center apologized to the Philippines, to Australia, and to his family and son back in the States.

"Wrong decisions [were] made in the heat of the moment," Blatche said.

"That fight and all our actions [are] not what me or my brothers stand for. Anyone who knows us know [that] we are a happy, goofy group. Things just made a bad turn and I wanna apologize to my teammates and [to] to Australian team for my wrongdoings. I have a son and that's not what I want him to follow," he added.

Forward Japeth Aguilar, one of the nine players ejected on the side of Gilas, admitted that the team acted on emotion.

[Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas could learn a thing or two from Boomers' bench]

Japeth says there was no excuse for their role in the incident and has since apologied as well.

"I admit that we acted on emotion rather than logic and this is regrettable because the situation could have been pacified," he said.

"There is no excuse for how we responded. As national team athles, we are representing more than just ourselves as we wear our uniforms. How we acted las night is not a just representation of the Filipino people," Aguilar added.

However, Japeth didn't address his father Peter, who was allegedly the one who used a chair to hit an Australian player.

[Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Boomers regret ugly brawl with Gilas Pilipinas]

Gabe Norwood, one of the Gilas players not to be ejected, called the event unfortunate.

"Unfortunate series of events that took place tonight," he said in a tweet early Tuesday morning.

"Heat of the battle and emotions won out, but in the end we strive to show the best of who we are," Norwood added.

As for team officials, coach Jong Uichico called the incident a "necessary lesson" for him.

The former national team coach also got involved in the brawl.

"Tonight my emotions got the better of me like a father who cares about his sons," he said.

"That does not excuse my actions and I apologize to everyone as in hindsight I should have not gotten involved. This is a painful but maybe necessary lesson for me," Uichico added.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas likewise released its statement and the federation regrets the unfortunate ending of the basketball game.

[Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: SBP apologizes for brawl: "Violence has no place in sports"]

"SBP stands by its conviction that violence has no place in sports," the statement read.




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