Chris Goulding was attacked by multiple Filipino players as he lay defenceless on the ground, never retaliating once.
Yet somehow the Australian basketball star has been suspended, and his manager is absolutely furious.
‘DOESN’T MAKE SENSE’: Aussie fans confused over ‘basket-brawl’ suspensions
The International Basketball Federation on Thursday handed down bans and fines over the crazy brawl between Australia and the Philippines on July 2.
Australia’s Daniel Kickert was banned for five internationals, while Thon Maker copped three and Goulding a one-game ban.
Ten Philippines players were suspended, including Poboy (five games) and Calvin Abueva (six games).
The heaviest penalties were handed to Calvin Abueva (six games, due to prior offences), and Roger Pogoy and Carl Cruz (both five games).
However the bizarre decision to ban Goulding has been met with fury from the Australian public.
Goulding was the victim of the initial foul that sparked the melee.
He never retaliated, but instead was set upon by numerous Filipino players while he was on the ground.
The Aussie player’s manager released an angry statement on Friday, labelling his client’s ban a ‘disgrace’.
“I am extremely disappointed in the ruling handed down by FIBA,” Daniel Moldovan wrote on Twitter.
“Chris Goulding neither provoked or retaliated to a vicious mob assault and has been suspended by FIBA. This is quite simply disgraceful.”
And Moldovan was even less pleased with the ‘lenient’ ban handed to a Philippines assistant coach.
“However the most disturbing aspect of FIBA’s ruling is the fact that Assistant Coash Joseph Uichico, who in my opinion, is guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm that could have easily resulted in the death of Chris Goulding, has been given a 3 game suspension.
“What message is FIBA sending to children all over the world when a violent and non-sensical act such as this is given nothing more than a slap on the wrist?
“Uichico should never be allowed to coach a FIBA sanctioned game again.”
While Goulding appeared to be collateral damage in the brawl, Basketball Australia CEO Anthny Moore said that he was found guilty of “inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour”.
“The findings of the panel were that throughout the game there was some niggle between Chris and a couple of players and FIBA took the view that that perhaps contributed to the third quarter incident,” Moore said on Thursday.
“Given everything we saw with Chris under the basket with 20 players on that’s a little tough to swallow and that’s a conversation we will have as a board tomorrow and with Chris.”
Maker was also unhappy with the length of his suspension.
While Maker noted his respect for FIBA, he used Twitter to explain his involvement in the fight.
“I tried to break up a conflict, but without security things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation where I needed to act to protect my teammates and myself from imminent harm,” Maker said on Friday.
“As a human being I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help of security.”
Aussie star Andrew Bogut also weighed into the mess with a rather cryptic tweet.
The Philippines, Japan and Indonesia are set to host the 2023 Basketball World Cup, and Bogut reckons that might have something to do with the seemingly soft Filipino bans.