Gilas Cadet Troy Rike made it clear that he was just trying to protect Australia’s Chris Goulding during the brawl between the Gilas and the Boomers in their FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers bout, Monday at the Philippine Arena.
In a photo posted by Tiebreaker Times, Rike was caught standing all over Goulding as if attacking the Australian. Goulding was turtled up on the ground, trying to defend himself from any further hits.
But it turned out that Goulding found himself a protector in Rike.
Things got out of hand, as fans sitting at courtside tried to join the mugging of Goulding. Japeth Aguilar’s father Peter also threw a chair towards the direction of the melee.
To prevent things from escalating, the product of Wake Forest sealed off everyone trying to get near the Australian.
“Just before I hear anything about this picture or my character. I was standing over him with both legs to protect him,” tweeted the 22-year-old Fil-American.
“You can check the footage, I’m actively pushing people off.”
The ugly incident took place late in the third quarter, which flared up from a small fracas between Roger Pogoy and Chris Goulding. 13 players were ejected, leaving Gilas with just Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, and Baser Amer.
The three players still went on and played, making it a 3-on-8 handicap match. Fajardo and Norwood eventually left the bout due to fouls. Amer was the only one left standing, and the Boomers won by default, 89-53.
Rike added that he stands by his Gilas brothers but he did not want anyone else outside getting involved.
Now, both Gilas and the Boomers are waiting for the sanctions to be handed out by the international federation.