Australia's Thon Maker disagrees with FIBA sanction, moves on from 'terrible event'

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(CNN Philippines, July 20) — Thon Maker on Friday expressed his disagreement with FIBA's decision to suspend him for three games following the Australia-Philippines brawl earlier this month.

"While remaining respectful of FIBA as a governing body for basketball with a duty to protect the integrity and sanctity of our game, I disagree with their decision to sanction me for 3 games," the Australian big man said in a statement he released on his official Twitter account.

READ: FIBA suspends 13 players, coaching staff in Gilas-Australia brawl

The 7-foot-1 player defended his action, saying he was just trying to pacify the situation but ended up prioritizing his teammates' safety.

"I tried to break-up a conflict, but without security, things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation where I needed to act to protect my teammates and myself from imminent harm," the 21-year-old cager said.

"As a human being, I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help from security," he added.

FIBA has sanctioned Maker along with two other Australian players Chris Goulding (one game) Daniel Kickert (five games) together with 10 players and two coaches from the Philippines..

Basketball Australia is also ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of 100,000 Swiss Franc (around P5.3 million) for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players and for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve before the game.

Moving on from the ugly incident, Maker said he will be putting all his energy to the Milwaukee Bucks' preparation for the NBA season.

"I would like to focus on my continued preparation for the exciting upcoming season with the Milwaukee Bucks and move forward from this terrible event with a positive take-away - a renewed appreciation for the importance of security personnel. They provide safety for all to enjoy the game we love, both as players and fans."

ALSO READ: Referees in Gilas-Australia brawl banned for a year