Filipinos gave us suspect court: Lemanis

Vince Rugari

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis has suggested his side's training session the day before their World Cup qualifier against the Philippines was deliberately sabotaged by the hosts.

Lemanis conceded the Australian team didn't follow the "correct process" by peeling off floor decals at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Sunday because they believed they posed a threat to player safety.

But he said help was not forthcoming from the Filipino basketball association, the SBP, when they flagged the issue.

The removal of the advertising stickers appeared to greatly rile the Philippines team, who interpreted it as an act of disrespect towards their country.

Coach Chot Reyes tweeted that the Boomers failed to show "basic decency" by doing so without asking permission.

"We got to practice, we only get a two-hour window," Lemanis told reporters on Wednesday morning after arriving back in Australia.

"It was an important game, there were lots of things that weren't right with the venue when we got there.

"One of the rings was obviously high. They came and measured it and it was like six or seven inches high. We never got a resolution to that.

"People sort of disappeared out of the building who were trying to help us.

"It became evident the court was unsafe to play on with the decals, the way that they were. We initially asked for some help but everyone sort of disappeared out of the building.

"We were very aware that our practice time was slipping away and we are never going to put players in a situation where they could injure themselves. It's just not safe."

Disagreements over the floor decals and an altercation during the pre-game warm-ups set the tone for a tense, fiery game and the huge third-quarter brawl that unfolded.

Lemanis wasn't out on the court during the warm-ups, but vision showed a Filipino player extending a leg out to trip up Daniel Kickert as he returned to the back of their lay-up lane.

Reports suggest Kickert had tried to ask Philippines players to move back onto their side of the court and pushed one of them earlier when they didn't comply.

"Just from what the guys are saying, we were in our half, and they were in our half for periods of the warm-up," Lemanis said.