Hero act you didn’t see in Boomers' brawl
A PHILIPPINES basketball player's instinctive move to take up a protective stance over fallen Boomers star Chris Goulding is making headlines around the world.
Goulding claimed on Thursday morning he was fly-kicked early in the wild brawl in Manilla before he was surrounded by a mob of Philippines players and officials who continued to kick and punch him while he was on the ground.
According to initial reports, it was only the presence of Aussie NBA legend Luc Longley that deterred the mob of up to 15 people to leave Goulding alone.
However, a new version of events emerged on Thursday morning with reports from around the globe that Philippines rookie Troy Rike made the heroic decision to take up a defensive stance over the top of the Melbourne United star and keep his new teammates from continuing their sickening attack on the defenceless Australian.
Photos of the moment Rike stook over Goulding while Philippine team officials and players hover nearby have emerged, revealing an act of pure courage and class.
Rike has since told Philippines news outlets that he was prepared to stand up to teammate Allein Maliksi and national team deputy coach Jong Uichico, who were involved in the attack on Goulding.
He said it was purely instinctive to protect his opposition player, despite the bad blood between the two teams which led to the fight.
"I wasn't even thinking to be honest, instinct just took over," Rike told Rappler.com.
"I ran out on the court and when I saw that happening my natural reaction was just to do whatever I could to stop it."
Rike told Fox Sports he sensed from his position on the interchange bench that there was about to be a fight moments before Daniel Kickert rushed in and shoved the Philippines player who hit Goulding off the ball.
"From far away, I just saw someone getting attacked on the ground," Rike told foxsports.com.au.
"I didn't even know who it was. I just ran over, and I thought that, whoever it was, was getting kicked, holding himself, he was defenceless. I wasn't really thinking. I just went over and tried to get people off him, because he was obviously in a bad way.
"I thought, 'Here we go, we're going to get a little pushing action; tough guy stuff'. Then, all of a sudden, I turned around and I see Thon Maker and Andray Blatche doing spinning kicks, and I thought, 'Oh, shoot, this is real.' Then everything was just a blur."
Rike's pure class didn't end the moment he protected Goulding.
The Philippines basketball team recognised his heroic act and responded in association with the team's major sponsor - restaurant franchise Chooks-to-Go - by presenting Rike with an award of P100,000 ($A2536).
Rike then announced he planned to donate half of the money to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia and World Vision in the Philippines.
Chooks-to-Go also matched the donations dollar for dollar.
Rike's heroism has even made headlines in the US - where Rike attended college in North Carolina.
The 22-year-old played basketball for Wake Forest University.
A website covering Wake's basketball program reported on Thursday that Rike wanted his name to no longer feature in reports on the shocking attack on Goulding.
"I had a couple teammates and managers thank me for my role in trying to make peace," he told 247sports.com.
"They know the deal though. I stand by my teammates. There were some situations where teammates needed to be defended, but that situation with the opponent on the ground was not one of them. I don't think anyone is going to give me a hard time about helping that guy out.
"One of my teammates got decked, and you have to help that guy out. But here's a guy curled up on the floor with 20 guys surrounding him."
Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley alleged Philippines coach Chot Reyes incited his players to act violently in their World Cup qualifier, blaming him for the ugly brawl that marred the game.
Three-time NBA champion Longley touched down in Brisbane early on Wednesday morning with Australian head coach Andrej Lemanis and immediately made his views known, describing the all-in fight as the worst thing he'd ever seen on a basketball court.
Longley, who rushed to the aid of Chris Goulding as he was set upon by a dozen Filipino players and officials in a horrific pile-on, said Reyes was "embarrassed" by how his team was playing and urged them to hit back at the Boomers.
- with AAP