Philippines to compete in Jakarta basketball tournament

Philippine (blue) and Australian (yellow) players brawl during their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier game at the Philippine arena in Bocaue town, Bulacan province, Manila in July 2018. (AFP pic)

MANILA: The Philippines have reversed their decision to pull out of the basketball tournament at the Asian Games after listening to the views of their fans, Ricky Vargas, chairman of the Philippines Basketball Association, has said.

The country withdrew from the competition last month with its governing body saying that it needed to focus on its appeal against punishment for the on-court brawl during a World Cup qualifier last month.

Thirteen players from the Australia and Philippines teams, as well as two Filipino coaches, were suspended for their role in the fight during the game in Bulacan on July 2.

“We realized there is a strong clamour from our fans, so we decided to take a look at it,” Vargas said in a statement. “This will be final.”

The basketball competition at the Asian Games takes place from August 19 to September 1 in Jakarta.