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10 takeaways from FIBA’s punishment of Gilas


By Mark Patriarca

With the FIBA verdict finally came to a close, it created a ripple not only to the fate of the Gilas Pilipinas program, but it also affected the whole basketball circuit. Some think that it was fair, others deemed that it was too much.

To help us decide, here are the takeaways and rundown of the events that happened with the recent FIBA ruling for the Gilas-Boomers scuffle.

1.) A total of 10 players, 2 coaches were suspended from Gilas, only three from the Boomers

Only three players from the Boomers were faced with suspension. Daniel Kickert (5 games), Thon Maker (3 games) and Christian Goulding (1 game).

On the other hand, Gilas took the brunt of the impact with 10 players being suspended, with four different severities. Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (1 game); Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario (3 games); Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz and Jio Jalalon (5 games) and Calvin Abueva (6 games).

2.) A total of over P13.5 million of fines were meted for Philippines, only P5 million for Australia

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has a big price to pay, over 13 million pesos, as a fine for the altercation. Adding to that, head coach Chot Reyes also needs to gather P500,000 for ‘inciting an unsportsmanlike behavior’, based on the FIBA ruling.

Australia’s fine is more lax compared to Philippines, especially that the incident took place at Gilas’ home court.

3.) Gilas needs a new coach with Chot Reyes and Jong Uichico out

With two vital cogs in the coaching staff out for some time, who will now carry the mantle for our Philippine squad? Gilas head coach Chot Reyes will serve a one-game suspension for inciting a unsportsmanlike behavior, while Jong Uichico was handed out with three-game suspension due to his active participation in mauling an Aussie player. Three candidates come to mind.

First is Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin who once led the Nationals from 2014 to 2016. Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag would also be a fitting candidate as a former captain of the national team. Lastly, the most probable fix for their dilemma is coach Josh Reyes who was also a part of the Gilas coaching staff from the get-go.

4.) Allein Maliksi and Peter Aguilar goes unscathed

Some individuals who contributed to the now infamous brawl was missing in the list of FIBA verdict specifically Peter Aguilar and Allein Maliksi. The father of Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar threw a chair to an Australian player while Allein Maliksi mauled over a fallen Aussie player.

5.) Suspensions exclusive only to FIBA tournaments

This is a sigh of relief for our local league, PBA, since some of the harshest punishments that FIBA can decide on is a suspension not only within their tournaments, but like what happened to NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena, they can also ban a player from all basketball activities.

6.) No shouting of “Puso!” from the home crowd for the meantime

Gilas fans will have to wait for a while to witness Gilas Pilipinas live since FIBA also barred home games for our Philippine team. For the second window, the first game will be played closed door, meaning no fans will be allowed to enter inside the venue. A probationary period of three years will also be observed that will result to two more home games suspension.

7.) Abueva’s career has taken a dip with back-to-back suspensions coming from Alaska and FIBA

The disgruntled forward is facing another trial he’ll need to overcome as he received the harshest punishment from FIBA organization in terms of number of game suspension. Adding to that, the suspension coming from his own mother team in the PBA, Alaska Aces, has not hinted to lift their indefinite ban against “The Beast”.

8.) Gilas naturalized player selection is limited with Blatche suspension

You can say that three-game suspension is not that long, but it’s a totally different thing when it comes to FIBA. Every game in the most prestigious international basketball tournament counts, and with only Christian Standhardinger as the stand-in import that Gilas could tap, is it time to find a more suited naturalized player for the next years to come?

Blatche is 31-years old, and sometimes comes in play in no basketball shape. Standhardinger, on the other hand, is a good player, but sometimes lacks the drive to carry the team when all else fails.

9.) PBA now opens door for all players to join Gilas pool

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the league is open to lend all of the players under their care, it’s just a question of the willingness of the athlete to participate in Gilas pool. However, with regards to Fil-foreign players like Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter, he explained that they may face eligibility issues by the FIBA board.

10.) Philippines’ hosting of 2023 FIBA World Cup is safe

FIBA did not mention anything about the Philippines’ hosting rights for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and by the looks of it, the international board decided to let that slide since it’s not related to the incident.