FIBA: Has Gilas recovered from ugly 2018 brawl vs. Boomers?

Paul Lintag on Jul 03, 2019 05:36 PM
FIBA: Has Gilas recovered from ugly 2018 brawl vs. Boomers?
One year later, here’s what happened to all the national team members that were suspended from the infamous and rather unfortunate Gilas-Boomers brawl of 2018.

One year ago, the world witnessed the darkest time in the Gilas Pilipinas national team program.

Ending round 1 of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers against Australia at the massive Philippine Arena, Gilas became the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

An already tense game between Gilas and Australia reached a boiling point after the Philippine national team reacted to a vicious elbow from Boomers big man Daniel Kickert to RR Pogoy.

[Related: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl]

What followed was an all-out brawl, leading to Gilas Pilipinas losing via forfeiture due to lack of players after nine were ejected from the game.

17 days after the brawl, FIBA handed out some heavy sanctions and 10 Philippine national team players and two coaches were suspended.

[Related: SBP fined P13 million for the Gilas-Boomers brawl]

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas also had to pay over P13 million in fines for the trouble plus Gilas played one home game behind closed doors.

One year later, here’s what happened to all the national team members that were suspended from the infamous and rather unfortunate Gilas-Boomers brawl of 2018.


1-game suspension

Japeth Aguilar

Japeth was back to active duty quickly after serving his one-game suspension. While his role in the national team has diminished over the years, Aguilar is still an important part of the Gilas program.

In the PBA, Japeth has maintained his status as Ginebra’s top big man although the Gin Kings failed to score a three-peat in the Governors’ Cup, losing to eventual champion Magnolia in the semifinals.

Matthew Wright

Wright was also back to active Gilas duty quickly after being suspended for one game.

But unlike Japeth, Wright has not been a consistent part of the Gilas pool following his suspension.

Still, the Fil-Canadian sniper has been balling, getting a 2nd team All-PBA nod at the end of last season and leading Phoenix’s charge as a true league contender.


3-game suspension

Andray Blatche

Blatche took a while to come back to Gilas Pilipinas following his suspension.

While he was eligible to return at the latter half of the Asian Qualifiers’ 5th window, he wasn’t invited to join the national team.

[Related: 10 Gilas players suspended for brawl with Boomers]

Andray made his true return in the 6th and final window and with Gilas Pilipinas having no room for error, Blatche delivered a pair of big games to send the Philippines back to the World Cup. He’s expected to be back for the national team in the upcoming World Championships in China.

Troy Rosario

It also took a while for Rosario to return to active national team duty as he had to deal with an injury on top of his three-game suspension.

Nevertheless, he’s now back in Gilas as one of the team’s reliable forwards.

In the PBA, Troy remains as TNT’s top forward.

Jayson Castro

Arguably the greatest player in Gilas’ history, Castro returned to the national team after serving his three-game suspension.

He immediately regained his starting point guard spot and was key to helping the Philippines make a return trip to the World Cup.

However, it appears that the Blur’s time with Gilas is done as he finally begged off from national team duty starting with the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Terrence Romeo

Romeo likewise served a three-game suspension but he hasn’t been back to the national team.

Similiar to Blatche, Terrence was eligibale to return in the 5th window but was never invited to rejoin the national team.

In the meantime, Romeo found himself with San Miguel Beer after being exiled from TNT. He won his first-ever championship with the Beermen in the All-Filipino but unfortunately, he’s currently sidelined with Achilles issues.


5-game suspension

Carl Bryan Cruz

CBC was handed with a five-game suspension and was naturally out for the remainder the Asian Qualifiers. It also seems like he’s not getting an invite back to Gilas anytime soon.

In the PBA, CBC is still a role player for Alaska, filling in quite nicely especially after the Aces were decimated with a number of injuries following a Finals run in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.

Jio Jalalon

Jalalon also never saw action again in the Asia Qualifiers after he was given a five-game suspension.

He’s eligible to return but Gilas has been going with his Magnolia teammates in Paul Lee and Mark Barroca as better options in the national team.

Still, Jalalon remains part of perhaps the best backcourt in the PBA with the Hotshots, helping the team win the 2018 Governors’ Cup and came literally one basket away in Game 7 from ending the San Miguel dynasty in the Philippine Cup.

RR Pogoy

Pogoy served his five-game suspension and is now finally back to the national team pool just in time for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Away from Gilas, Pogoy emerged as TNT’s no. 1 weapon in the PBA, evolving into a more dynamic scorer and essentially a more dangerous two-way player.

It won’t be surprising to see him in the Philippines’ World Cup team in China.


6-game suspension

Calvin Abueva

The Beast missed the whole of round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers after being given the most severe punishment from the Gilas-Boomers brawl.

No one will see Calvin in a Gilas jersey anytime soon as Abueva can’t even stay active in the PBA.

Now with Phoenix, the Beast in suspended indefinitely in the ongoing PBA season after he delivered a vicious clothesline to TNT import Terrence Jones in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup. He lasted two games in the mid-season joust.


[Related: Chot gets 1-game suspension and P535,000 fine?]

Aside from the players, assistant coach Jong Uichico was suspended for three games. The former champion coach is now in the MPBL as chief tactician for the Bataan Risers.

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes was suspended one game and was fined over P500,000. He gave up control of the national team starting with the 2018 Asian Games before eventually stepping down as Gilas coach. Yeng Guiao took over for him.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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