Australian basketball has slammed ‘immensely distressing’ racism allegations leveled at Boomers
Philippines coach Chot Reyes has conceded he didn’t hear any Australian Boomers racially abuse his players during last week’s ugly brawl in Manila.
In an interview on SportsCenter Philippines, Reyes was asked if Australia’s players used derogatory terms to describe the Philippines players.
“No, I can say honestly that’s fake news,” Reyes said.
“I didn’t hear or didn’t have any notion that they were calling our players those terms at halftime, so I didn’t see it.”
This Reyes’ statement occurred before racism claims were made by freelance photojournalist, Winston Baltasar.
In an interview with Australia’s ABC Radio program The Ticket, Baltasar said Australian players called Gilas Pilipinas players “monkey” during the game and before the fight.
Baltasar, however, could not identify which Australian players he heard using the racial slur.
The Australian Basketballers’ Association (ABA) and Basketball Australia released a joint statement on Sunday slamming the claims Baltasar alleged were made during the fight-marred game between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia at the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on July 2.
“We take these allegations against our players extremely seriously and are deeply disappointed the ABC should choose to publish them, Basketball Australia Chief Executive Anthony Moore said in the statement.
The fight resulted in 13 ejections. The Philippine and Australian basketball federations are awaiting further disciplinary action from FIBA.