Thrilla north of Manila: Basketball brawl breaks out between Philippine and Australian teams

Basketball brawl complete with flying chairs and kung fu kicks breaks out between Philippines and Australia

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NBA player Thon Maker launching flying kick.

NBA player Thon Maker launching flying kick. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- What started out as a rather dull mismatch on Monday night (July 2) between Australia and the Philippines, suddenly became heart-pounding reenactment of the climatic melee in "Enter the Dragon" featuring fists of fury, feet of legend, crouching coaches and hidden referees, and a house of flying chairs.

It was the third quarter of a qualifying match for the FIBA Basketball World Cup being held in a Philippine Arena in Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. Australia's Boomers were cruising to a win over Gilas Pilipinas with the score 79-48. Filipino guard Roger Pogoy started the chain reaction of events by launching a flying elbow to the face of Australian player Chris Goulding, who reacted by flopping to the floor.

Seeing red, his teammate, Daniel Kickert, then throws an even more vicious elbow to Pogoy's head in retaliation. What normally would have ended in double technical fouls, suddenly transformed into a massive melee between both teams as multiple Filipino players rushed to attack Kickert, while his teammates jumped into defend him.


Philippines guard Jayson Castro William throwing a flying punch at Kickert. (AP photo)

Philippine point guard Jayson Castro William launched a flying superman punch to Kickert's face. Former NBA player, Andray Blatche, who now playing for Gilas Pilipinas threw a vicious clothesline that sent Boomers guard Nathan Sobey crumpling to the ground.

To come to the rescue, NBA Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker launched into a no shadow jump-flying front kick that missed the mark. Maker then changed directions and launched a jump-flying side kick targeted at Filipino guard Terrence Romeo, who dodged out of harm's way.

At least one Filipino bench player was spotted hurling a chair at the head of an Australian player.

After the dust had settled, a total of 13 players had been ejected from the game, including four Australian players - Thon Maker, Daniel Kickert, Nathan Sobey, and Chris Goulding. While the ejected Filipino players included Japeth Aguilar, Jeth Rosario, Roger Ray Pogoy, Terrence Bill Romeo, Matthew Wright, Calvin Abueva, Andray Blatche, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jayson Castro.

The game was called with 1:57 left in the third quarter, with Australia taking the win 89-53. In a bizarre act, and despite losing the game and suffering several ejections, some of the Filipinos proudly posed for a selfie after the massive melee, as if to celebrate the fight itself.