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Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes came to the defense of his players who took in a nasty brawl that marred Monday's FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match against Australia at the Philippine Arena here.

With four minutes remaining in the third quarter and Australia leading by 31 points, Daniel Kickert offered a flying elbow that appeared to start the ruckus.

Thirteen players were ejected, and the Philippines weren't able to finish the game with a full lineup as a result.

"While our concerns over player safety were pure, our actions are not representative of what we expect from representatives of an Australian national team", Moore said.

But if their side is routed by suspensions it will make things hard for one of the world's fastest growing basketball populations, in short this game could cost them a world cup place and basketball will be poorer for it. Unlike the Crimson Tide in that game, though, the Filipinos didn't put up much of a fight: Two more players fouled out, leaving them with one eligible player with 1:57 left in the third quarter.

A total of 13 players were ejected - nine from the Philippines along with Australia's Goulding, Kickert, Thon Maker and Nathan Sobey.


Maker was punched in the back of the head by Terrence Bill Romeo of the Philippines. At the end of this we will await for the referees' decision. "We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it", Moore said.

"Maker, the 10th overall pick of the Bucks in 2016, was an easy target at 7'1".

Both teams are in position to advance to the next round.

Ultimately, 13 players were ejected from the game, and CNN reports that the basketball governing body FIBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both sides.

The game later resumed, with Australia cruising to an 89-53 win.


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