A boxing match is not something you expect to see in a basketball game, so when the Philippine national basketball team Gilas Pilipinas had a brawl against its Australian counterpart called the Australian Boomers at a 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier, the internet broke. Among those who reacted to the chaos was Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who is also an incumbent senator in the Philippines.
The continental 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier took place at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines on July 2, 2018. With 4:01 left in the third quarter and the Boomers in control, 79-48, the audience was shocked when players from Gilas Pilipinas and the Boomers exchanged punches, kicks and shoves.
All hell broke loose when Daniel Kickert of the Boomers clipped Gilas Pilipinas guard Roger Pogoy with a blindside hit. Filipino players Jayson Castro, Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario and Carl Bryan Cruz as well as Australian players Thon Maker, Nathan Sobey and Christopher Goulding were involved in the chaos.
The game ended 89-53 with the Boomers winning by default. Hours later, FIBA announced that both the Boomers and Gilas Pilipinas will be penalized because of the incident.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao has yet to release an official statement regarding the brawl. The multihyphenate served as the playing coach of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team Kia Sorento, which was renamed from Mahindra Enforcer to Mahindra Floodbuster to Kia Picanto its current name Columbian Dyip.
Pacquiao is scheduled to compete for the WBA welterweight world title against Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse of Argentina at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 14, 2018. The Filipino boxing legend is currently training his MP Boxing Gym in his hometown of General Santos City in the Philippines with his coach and best friend Buboy Fernandez.
Watch the brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and the Boomers at 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier in Bocaue here: