‘Disrespectful’ Boomers angered Philippines before game
BASKETBALL Australia chief executive Anthony Moore admitted on Tuesday that it "wasn't the smartest move" by team officials to remove floor decals that they believed had posed a threat to player safety.
Moore said the Boomers might have unwittingly riled the hosts by tearing up advertising boards that players had slipped on the day before the game.
Australian basketball great Shane Heal, who was commentating for Fox Sports, told Channel 7 the actions were taken to be "disrespectful" by the Philippines.
Moore said Basketball Australia later apologised to the Philippines Basketball Association.
"We had a team shoot-around the day before, floor decals are always something that you look at," he said.
"We trained, had numerous players fall, and fall heavil,y and our team management undertook a course of action that we actually apologised for. We ripped the decals up.
"That wasn't the smartest move we made.
"There's no doubt that heightened the issue, but that was more from an administrator, federation-to-federation part as opposed to players."
Footage of the incident was tweeted out by FIBA Central Board member Manny V Pangilinan on Sunday evening.
Philippines coach Chot Reyes was quick to respond to the tweet, stating they were "FIBA approved logos/decals".
"Besides,we've played in other venues w similar decals. Secondly, IF, & that's a big IF, it did indeed make the floor slippery, they had no right to just rip the decals and deface OUR floor. There were SBP/FIBA officials in venue #basicdecency," Reyes stated in a follow-up tweet.
The move from the Australians was labelled as disrespectful in a statement from Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas.
In his release he stated the Boomers "not only disrespected the world organising basketball body but also our home soil".
"I echo the sentiments of MVP and Chot. What they did was very disrespectful," he added.
Philippines team manager Butch Antonio said the actions undertaken were wrong and it should have been left to FIBA.
"The method of what they did, in solving the problem or the issue, was wrong. They leave it to FIBA to decide on the matter," Antonio said on ESPN5.
Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut responded to the tweet, saying it "happens a lot at FIBA events, can't practice on ice".
The move a day prior to the game certainly didn't sit well within the Philippines delegation and could have set in motion what unfolded into a sickening display.
With players sprawled all over the floor and Australian players trapped under chairs, the scenes left fans in utter disbelief.
FIBA is investigating the incident and is likely to come down hard on all those involved, including spectators and Philippines officials.
- with AAP