Palace on Gilas-Australia brawl: Unfortunate, unsportsmanlike
The brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia during the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday night was the height of “unsportsmanlike” conduct, Malacañang said on Tuesday as it described the incident as “unfortunate.”
“Let’s just say that we found the whole incident unfortunate. It was of course the height of being unsportsmanlike,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“It’s something that we have to be sorry about because it should never have happened. But all we are saying is, we sympathize somehow with the feelings of our fellow Filipinos, which is not to justify their conduct,” Roque added.
The game was stopped at the third quarter when a brawl erupted after Australia big man Daniel Kickert took out Gilas Pilipinas swingman Roger Pogoy with a shove.
“What should have happened is as soon as Mr. Kickert did that foul, foul elbow, then the game should have stopped,” Roque said.
“There should have been a decision declaring him to have committed a foul act and there should have been a foul shot instead. But it continued I don’t know why it was allowed to continue,” he added.
The Palace official said the incident was regretful.
“We do not justify the conduct of our Filipino players. All we’re saying is it was a regretful incident and it should not happen,” he said.
“And in the 52 years I have spent in this existence, that’s the worst I have seen,” he added.
While Roque said Malacanang understood the emotions of the Gilas players, their conduct was never justified.
“Well, It should never have happened that’s why it’s called sports. But at the same time, we’re saying we empathize that they have to act as a team, which will not justify their conduct,” he said. “ I think we would have to say it was truly a regretful incident.” /vvp
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