Hollywood directors could not have scripted the brawl between the Australian Boomers and the Filipino team during a basketball World Cup qualifier.
Punches and chairs were thrown. Water bottles were hurled. Elbows were launched. There was stomping and kicking and some improvised martial arts moves.
It’s a sight often seen in sport, teams getting heated, carried away in the moment and letting their adrenaline act before their minds assess the situation.
It started with a shove, then an elbow and turned into a brawl that stopped play for 30 minutes and got numerous players from both teams kicked out of the game.
It was a disgusting display from what are considered to be elite athletes who were competing in a prestigious game.
Sport is often rocked by scandal and violence and this was an intolerable display of it – and yet we couldn’t look away.
The more articles viewed online, the more videos appeared that showed a different perspective of the fight and with it came another elbow or jumping kick to marvel at.
Punches are often thrown in NRL, the odd disagreement will arise from a cricket match and racquets often get flung during a tennis match as tempers flare.
But rarely do we witness a display such as this one that involved players, coaches, officials and even spectators who rushed the court.
There was so much wrong with the scenario – players being held back while their teammates were being pummelled, umpires getting involved, the speed in which the brawl escalated and
And to rub salt in the wounds, while play was stopped, players from the Filipino team were caught posing for what’s being called a ‘tasteless’ selfie photograph.
The game eventually resumed with a team of five and a team of three, because that’s how many players were kicked out of the game.
Basketball Australia has apologised for its players’ involvement in the incident and numerous players took to social media to personally express their regret.
It’s the type of incident that puts the sport into disrepute and can damage the careers of the players involved for years to come.
We think we want to witness fisticuffs until we see one such as this.
It was an impressive display of unacceptable and wild behaviour that has no place in sport.