Philippine (blue) and Australian (yellow) players engage in a brawl during their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier game at the Philippine arena in Bocaue town, Bulacan province, north of Manila on July 2, 2018. - Australia won by default 89-53.
TED ALJIBE—AFP/Getty Images
By Raisa Bruner
July 2, 2018

The soccer World Cup isn’t the only international sport tournament out there: there’s also the 2019 basketball World Cup coming up. And while there’s plenty of drama going down in Russia’s stadiums right now, there’s also lots of drama heating up the basketball courts elsewhere.

The teams from Australia and the Philippines were duking it out in a qualifying match on Tuesday when the two sides ended up devolving from play into a full-on fight on the court involving 13 players.

The game, taking place in a Philippine arena north of Manila, ended with Australia winning by default 89 to 53. But the incident may just overshadow performances from both teams. A statement from the chief executive of Basketball Australia noted that they “deeply regret” the “incident.”

“We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it,” the statement continued. “This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.

The fight appears to have gotten underway after Aussie player Chris Goulding was pushed to the ground, quickly followed by other players knocking each other over and joining the violent fray. Ultimately, 13 players were ejected from the game, and CNN reports that the basketball governing body FIBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both sides.

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