Wednesday, August 04, 1999


You got it all: basketball, cheap-shots, flying elbows and mineral water bottles, and finally, blood. The game featuring host Taiwan NT and defending champion Philippines ended with the biggest brawl in recent Jones Cup memory, resulting one of the Taiwan player and a fan injured.

Chief official ruled Taiwan won 66-42, the score when the brawl took place. This is the first brawl since 1987, when Taiwan eangaged in a similar fight with long time rival South Korea.

With 4:03 remaining in the game, Taiwan's Lo Shing-Liang was fouled and suddenly the players of both sides, including Philippines' assistant coach and trainer, stormed onto the court and threw punches at each other. Hundreds of fans also threw down mineral water plastic bottles from the stands. The whole gymnasium exploded into a warzone.

Philippine players then threw the bottles back into the stands and hit a female fan on the forehead. Taiwan's Chou Hung-Yu was hit on the forehead also. Both were sent to the hospital immediately.

According to one of the local TV station's report, Philippines' Joey Mente, who threw punches first and started the fight, was mildly injured and was sent to the hospital, too.

With Taiwan having slight home court advantage, Philippines found itself trailing 8-20 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half and their temper started to takeover. Coaches complained and shouted with every foul call. Players started taking cheapshots at Taiwan NT. Chiu Chih-Yi of Taiwan answered back with a flagrant foul minutes later, just to make things worse.

After that the Philippine players looked like they'd rather fight and hit than play basketball. Its coaching staff finally drew a technical foul complaining a taunting act by Cheng Chih-Lung went unnoticed by both refs with 52.6 seconds before halftime, when they trail by 20 with the unbelievable score of 25-45.

Although the referees warned both teams to tone down their behaviour and physical play before second half tipoff, tension's still high. Less than 5 minutes later, Santamaria confronted Taiwan PG Yen Shin-Shu again. Finally the bomb exploded with 4:03 left. Joey Mente , who had been going at several Taiwan players earlier, attacked Huang Chun-Hsiung from his back, resulting the brawl.

Chinese Taipei Basketball Association immediately released an official statement. CTBA stated that it felt sorry for the whole incident and the injured players and fans. It promised to send the addtional police to ensure Philippines players' safety and prohibited fans carrying any plastic and metal bottles from now on.

At the same time, former CTBA president Wang Jen-Da criticized Philippines' rough play and the unbelievable bahaviour that threw the bottles at fans. He said CTBA may consider not inviting Philippines to Jones Cup after this year. Wang had asked Taiwan coach Chen Yi-Fei
at halftime not to play Chiu Chih-Yi and Cheng Chih-Lung, who both had committed hard fouls earlier, in the second half. And coach Chen followed his idea.

It's a wide belief that Philippines plays a street-style basketball with unsportsmanlike cheapshot. Today they prove it again. They won the fight but lost the game, failing to advance to the final four. Selecting Iloilo to represent the MBA and the Philippines looks like a not-so-good decision.

Taiwan:Lo Shing-Liang 16p, Chou Hung-Yu fouls 16, 5-6 FT
Philippines:Singson shooting 11-40 from 2PT range, 4-13 from 3PT, 8-16 fouls 13

Taiwan National Second 81-37 Soweto Panthers
Taiwan National Second:Chen Jian-Chou 19p

South Korea 62-53 New Zealand
South Korea:Cho Sung-Wo 13p, Cho Sang-Hyun 13p, Kang Dong-Hee 11p, 5rb, 4a, Hur Jae 4p, 5rb, 8a
New Zealand:Peter Pokai 11p,6rb, Robert Hickey 10p, Pero Cameron 6p, 12rb

Standing thru August 4
Group A
Taiwan NT 3-0
Costa Rica 1-1
Philippines 1-2
Bahrain 0-2

Group B
South Korea 2-0
New Zealand 1-1
Taiwan National Second 1-1
Soweto Panthers 0-2