Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore speaks to the media in Brisbane on Tuesday. Picture: Jono Searle/AAP
Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore speaks to the media in Brisbane on Tuesday. Picture: Jono Searle/AAP

Boomers' Daniel Kickert facing a long international suspension

BOOMERS veteran Daniel Kickert is facing a long international suspension but Australia is likely to avoid the harshest punishments from the all-in brawl that has shocked the basketball world.

FIBA has opened an investigation into the violent scenes that marred Monday night's World Cup qualifier in the Philippines.

But Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore has warned that the sport's global governing body is in "new territory" as it prepares to sift through incredible footage of dozens of players, officials and even fans trading blows.

Kickert provided the flashpoint by elbowing Philippine guard Roger Kogoy in the face late in the third quarter of the game, which was later abandoned with Australia leading 89-53.

Moore described that incident as "unsavoury" and said it would be "challenging to defend", and the Sydney Kings centre is certain to cop the full brunt of FIBA's wrath.

The 35-year-old was retaliating to Kogoy's raised forearm hit on Chris Goulding, who was later set upon by a large group of Philippines players and coaches - one of whom threw a chair at him.

Aside from Kickert's actions, most of the Boomers appeared to be acting in self-defence or trying to protect teammates during the minute-long scrap.

The fact that Philippine bench players rushed to join in the chaos while Australia's restrained themselves won't help the home side's cause when disciplinary proceedings begin, and nor will the seemingly lax security measures in place that allowed the madness to unfold the way it did.

There could be further sanctions, including the possibility the Philippines could be kicked out of qualifying or even stripped of their 2023 World Cup hosting rights.

The country is slated to co-host the tournament along with Japan and Indonesia, but Moore said the Philippines Basketball Association needed to guarantee it could be done safely.

"We'd need the assurances of PBA and FIFA (to send players back there)," Moore said.

"There's absolutely no doubt that that's something the discussions between our counterparts at the PBA and FIBA will have."

Moore did not rule out the prospect of potential criminal action being taken and said lawyers had already been briefed, but added that Basketball Australia would first allow FIBA's formal process to unfold.

There is no indication how long that might take.

Australia and the Philippines are both through to the second round of 2019 World Cup qualifiers but won't face each other again despite being in the same group.

NBL executive chairman Larry Kestelman condemned the behaviour of players, officials and fans and called for FIBA to come down hard on those involved.

"This disgraceful behaviour needs to be dealt with by FIBA in the strongest possible manner and we will await the outcome of their investigation," Kestelman said.

One of the Philippine players involved in the Goulding pile-on, meanwhile, has moved to clear his name.

Troy Rike claimed on Twitter he was actually trying to stop his teammates from hitting him.

"Just before I hear anything about this picture or my character. I was standing over him with both legs to protect him," Rike posted.

"You can check the footage, I'm actively pushing people off."