WATCH: Revisiting The Infamous Gilas Pilipinas-Australia Brawl

The lowest point in Philippine basketball history.
IMAGE Sports5 on YouTube

The year is 2018.

Our national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, was poised to make another run to qualify for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Five years prior, in the 2014 World Cup, Gilas shocked the world by providing scintillating performances game after game. The team only won one out of the five games, but it captured the hearts and minds of every basketball fan around the world. A relative unknown on the biggest basketball stage, Gilas pushed higher-ranked opponents to their limits and only lost by an average margin of four points.

The team has had a few ups and downs after the 2014 World Cup, but everyone was optimistic about its chances in the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers. The coach who led Gilas in 2014, Chot Reyes, was back at the helm and most of the top professional players were also in the lineup. The team surely wanted to shock the world once more. And shock the world they did. But this time for all the wrong reasons.

On July 2, 2018, Gilas made news around the world as it was involved in an all-out brawl with the Australian national team. Punches were thrown. Kicks were landed. Chairs went flying. 

The incident left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths. The once highly adored Gilas Pilipinas started to lose its luster.

This is the infamous Gilas-Australia Brawl.

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MJ Pagaduan
MJ Pagaduan is the Content Producer of Esquire Philippines.
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