Refs to blame in Gilas-Aussies brawl: GAB chairman
By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra has asked FIBA to also look at the referees who officiated the brawl-marred Gilas Pilipinas-Australia game at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan early this month.
“Before they sanction our Filipino players, they should first discipline the referees,” the former Palawan governor told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a chance interview.
On why he thought the officials should be blamed too, he replied, “The game got out of hand because the referees did not control it… Kung ‘yung referees maayos, it’s not gonna happen that way.”
“Why blame the Filipino players, the Filipino crowd, and the Filipino people?” he added.
Meanwhile, in a statement he sent to PNA, he clarified that the coaching staff should have controlled the situation as well.
“We also want to remind our coaches and assistant coaches to restrain our players,” he said.
GAB regulates and supervises the professional sports leagues in the Philippines, especially the Philippine Basketball Association, where the Gilas players are playing club-wise.
FIBA is set to hand its verdict on the brawl at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the SBP will make a reaction on the said verdict through a press conference at 4 p.m.
On July 2, a bench-clearing brawl ensued between the two teams in the third quarter of their showdown in which Australia won. (PNA)