Chot Reyes blames Daniel Kickert for Gilas-Boomers brawl at 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier

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Both the Australian Boomers and Gilas Pilipinas are expecting penalty from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). On July 2, 2018, a brawl between Australia and the Philippines’ respective national basketball teams transpired at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

Speaking to the media after the incident, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes vehemently defended his team. He explained his players’ behavior and put the blame on Daniel Kickert of the Boomers.

“It’s up to FIBA in the end, but we have to face those consequences because it is what it is,” ESPN quoted Reyes as saying. “But one thing that they have to know about this team is that we’re not going to back down. This team remains solid, we have each other’s back and we have each other.”

According to Reyes, the feud started when Kickert started pushing some Gilas Pilipinas players during warm-ups. The coach enumerated Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy and Calvin Abueva as the Australian baller’s victims.

The brawl at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier started when Pogoy committed a hard offensive foul on Chris Goulding of the Boomers. In response, Kickert decked the Gilas Pilipinas player from behind.

“The foul of Pogoy on Goulding was an offensive foul, and it was a basketball play,” Reyes explained. However, it was Kickert who came in and decked Pogoy for the fifth time, the Gilas Pilipinas coach pointed out.

Whatever Kicket’s motives is, there is no excuse for him doing what he did to the Gilas Pilipinas players during the warm-up, Reyes said. Still, the coach acknowledged that what transpired between the Philippine and Australian basketball national teams was wrong.

“Well, it’s unfortunate,” Reyes said. “We didn’t want it to happen. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

The 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier marked the sixth time Kickert played for the Boomers. He also played for the team when it won its first tile at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.

A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, Kickert went undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft. In the NBL, he played for Melbourne United for the 2014-2015 season and for the Brisbane Bullets for the next two seasons.

On April 27, 2018, Kickert signe with the Sydney Kings. He has a two-year deal with a team option for the second year.

In 2017, Kickert was featured in “In Their Own Words” on NBL TV. Here is a clip:

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