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The Gilas-Aussie brawl and the true meaning of ‘brotherhood’

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Tiebreaker Times The Gilas-Aussie brawl and the true meaning of 'brotherhood' Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gilas Pilipinas Men Australia (Basketball) 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Exactly one year ago, one sharp elbow would alter the history of Philippine basketball.

When Australian big man Daniel Kickert threw an elbow at Roger Pogoy with 4:01 left in Gilas Pilipinas’ final game in the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, literally, all hell broke loose.

Jayson Castro, a mild-mannered man, flew through the air for a punch. Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo were duking it out with a behemoth in Thon Maker. Guest players and a coach even got in on the act, ganging up on the Aussies.

Tiebreaker Times The Gilas-Aussie brawl and the true meaning of 'brotherhood' Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gilas Pilipinas Men Australia (Basketball) 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Brotherhood they said. All for one and one for all, they added.

Well, the International Basketball Federation did not see it that way.

FIBA imposed almost PHP 14,000,000 in fines on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and then-Gilas head coach Chot Reyes. It also slapped suspensions on 12 other personalities.

But it was not just the federation nor the players involved who felt the aftershocks of the brawl.

Gilas’ first home game in the second window last September 17 was held in closed doors.

According to a representative of the SMART Araneta Coliseum, the venue lost almost PHP 50,000,000 of potential revenue, including the economy around it, and the federation itself.

The effects of the brawl were devastating, to say the least.

There was a time when people even tried to run away.

Tiebreaker Times The Gilas-Aussie brawl and the true meaning of 'brotherhood' Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gilas Pilipinas Men Australia (Basketball) 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Photo from Asian Games

But there was also a time when they showed solidarity.

Tiebreaker Times The Gilas-Aussie brawl and the true meaning of 'brotherhood' Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gilas Pilipinas Men Australia (Basketball) 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

It was hard to move on. Still, everyone had to.

And if there’s one good thing that the brawl has done, it unified the basketball powers of the country in an effort to rebuild the country’s image – brick by brick.

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Barriers were broken in an effort to form the best Philippine team possible that led to the Philippines making it back to the World Cup in a thrilling final day.

The country was able to make it to the world stage together.

Exactly one year later, a lot has changed in Philippine basketball.

And it included what brotherhood really meant.

All for one, one for all.

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