Boomers' Thon Maker disagrees with FIBA sanction, looks to move on from brawl
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 20, 2018 09:13 AM
The Philippines players, left and Australian basketball players react, during the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Monday, July 2, 2018 at the Philippine Arena in suburban Bocaue township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez - FILE)
Australian big man Thon Maker expressed his disagreement with FIBA handing him a three-game ban from international competition because of the Boomers' melee against Gilas Pilipinas last July 2.
In a tweet, Maker rued the lack of security in the venue, which forced him to "break up" the brawl to protect his teammates.
"I tried to break up a conflict, but without security, things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation where I needed to act to protect my teammates and myself from imminent harm," the 21-year-old center said.
The big man for the Milwaukee Bucks also waxed philosophical in defending his actions during the brawl.
"As a human being, I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help from security," Maker said..
Already slapped with the ban, however, he ends his statement on a reflective note as he looks to move on from the infamous brawl by paying closer attention to his upcoming third season in Milwaukee.
"I would like to focus on my continued preparation for the exciting upcoming season with the Milwaukee Bucks and move forward from this terrible event with a positive take-away - a renewed appreciation for the importance of security personnel. They provide safety for all to enjoy the game we love, both as players and fans," he said.
Maker is one of three Australian players to get sanctioned because of the brawl. Forward Daniel Kickert, who landed the first hit on Gilas guard RR Pogoy, received the heftiest ban with a five-game suspension, while Chris Goulding was suspended for one game.
Meanwhile 10 Filipino players received sanctions as well. Calvin Abueva was banned six games due to prior unsportsmanile behavior in past FIBA competition.
RR Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jio Jalalon are suspended for five games each. Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Troy Rosario are banned for three games.
Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright will be suspended for one game.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will be fined CHF 250,000 (P13.3 million) for "unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game."
Meanwhile, Basketball Australia was gined CHF 100,000 fine (around P5.3 million).