BOCAUE, Bulacan - Basketball Australia, the governing and controlling body of basketball in Australia, issued a statement on Monday regarding the issue revolving the removal of the on-court stickers at the Philippine Arena.
In a statement issued 30 minutes before the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian national team, Basketball Australia Secretary General Anthony Moore apologized in behalf of the Boomers.
"Basketball Australia unreservedly apologizes for the removal of decals from the court at Philippine Arena prior to the Australian Boomers vs Philippines FIBA World Cup qualifer tonight," the statement read.
On Sunday, before the Boomers held their practice inside the Philippine Arena, the decals of the sponsors were ripped off. The act was caught on video and was posted by FIBA Central Board member and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman Manny V. Pangilinan on Twitter.
"While our concerns over player safety were pure, our actions are not representative of what we expect from representatives of an Australian national team," Moore said.
In a separate post by Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, the stickers were removed because they were too slippery. However, they have been FIBA approved and have already been used in other venues with similar decals.
"No disrespect was intended and the team has since apologized for the error in judgment to Philippines Basketball, the fans, and FIBA," the statement closed.
In a separate statement by Boomers team manager Mark Bradtke, he reiterated that Australia had no intention of disrespect.
"Our intentions were pure in rectifying what was potentially a player safety issue for all participants," Bradtke relayed. "We never intended to be disrespectful or to challenge Philippine basketball. The Philippine basketball federation and the players are our friends and neighbors, but also a very tough opponent that we respect very much."