Australia’s assistant coach Luc Longley has been credited with potentially saving the life of Australian basketball player Chris Goulding during the Boomers brawl.
The former NBA champion rushed to the aid of of the injured Goulding, who was on the ground and swamped by Filipino players, officials and fans.
Longley’s hulking 7ft frame plowed through the brawl to pull Chris Goulding to safety, and social media reacted – including Goulding’s agent.
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Luc Longley is the true hero out of this. If he didn't run in and start clearing people out. Thank goodness he is with the squad. #FIBAWC
— Roy Ward (@rpjward) July 2, 2018
Did Luke Longley just save Chris Goulding’s life?
— Josh Garlepp (@JoshGarlepp) July 2, 2018
The Boomers defeated the Philippines 89-53 to finish top of their qualifying group in Bulacan on Monday night, but the match result was overshadowed by the ugly brawl.
“FIBA will now open disciplinary proceedings against both teams. The decisions will be communicated in the coming days,” FIBA tweeted on Monday.
Australia had held a comfortable 79-48 lead when a pair of rough fouls, one from Philippines player Roger Pogoy on Chris Goulding, followed by a retaliation from teammate Daniel Kickert, saw the game erupt into madness.
Players from both teams engaged in an all-in brawl while officials charged onto the court to try and restore order.
The situation intensified as unruly fans invaded the court to hurl objects at the players, sparking major safety concerns.
Play was suspended for over 30 minutes while match officials attempted to review the incident.
A total of 13 players were ejected – nine from the Philippines along with Australia’s Goulding, Kickert, Thon Maker and Nathan Sobey.
The Philippines were left with only three eligible players but the match continued until two of their players deliberately fouled out to end the contest.
Scheduled post-match press conferences for both teams were cancelled in the aftermath of the incident.
Basketball Australia’s Chief Executive Anthony Moore issued a statement following the match to apologise for the Boomers’ involvement in the violent incident.
“Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila,” Moore said.
“We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it.
“This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.
“We apologise to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”