Australias star guard Matthew Dellavedova says his decision to stay on the bench and not come to the support of Boomers teammates during the wild brawl in the Philippines left him feeling "a bit sick in the stomach".
Dellavedova, who plays in the NBA, has been widely praised for his presence of mind and respect for the rules of the sport by not rushing onto the court when simmering tensions between the teams suddenly, and drastically, turned physical.
World governing body FIBA has convened a disciplinary panel to hold hearings over the brawl between the Boomers and the Philippines during their FIBA World Cup qualifier last month.
It's understood the five Boomers on court when the brawl started could face charges but FIBA has made the details of the hearings confidential, including who is facing what charges.
The findings from the FIBA probe are expected to be released imminently.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Dellavedova admits he was torn when the fight unfolded.
"I still feel a bit sick in the stomach about that because, you know, you're taught as a kid growing up to protect your mates and your teammates," Dellavedova told Macquarie Sports Radio on Thursday.
"It was (hard) to try and stay on the bench because … The rules are you are not allowed to go on the court. There can be tough consequences if you do so I think in the long run, as hard as it was to stay on the bench, obviously (it was) a good thing in the long run that we didnt go on and escalate the situation.
"Im just glad that everyone got out of there with (without) any major serious injuries."
Dellavedova was also quick to scotch suggestions by a Filipino photojournalist that racist taunts by Australian players were the catalyst for the brawl.
Photojournalist Winston Baltasar, who was covering the match, last week told ABC radio that racist taunts may have contributed to the physical boilover.
Basketball Australia and the Australian Basketballers Association (ABA) have already categorically rejected the allegations.
Baltasar alleged on ABC Grandstand that the word "monkey" was used by Australians, although he could not attribute the taunt to a specific player.
"I think I should mention when the Boomers were up by 30 points there was still a lot of what I would say was taunting, a lot of mouthing, there were a lot of words being said," Baltasar said.
"We did hear the word 'monkey' being thrown around."
Dellavedova described the ABC's decision to air the allegations as 'pretty irresponsible' and strongly denied that racist taunts had been uttered.
"I dont know what the consequences of that (publishing the allegations) are but its pretty irresponsible, I think."
Began his full-time career at The Age as an online sports reporter in 1999 before joining Sportal as the Deputy Editor of the AFL-Telstra online network in 2002. Rejoined the online desk at The Age in 2006 and was online sports editor between 2006 and 2016. Has covered two Olympics (Sydney 2000 and London 2012), numerous Australian Open tennis tournaments and several AFL grand finals. Reads the back page first. Hack golfer. Wannabe tennis star.
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