“It took a few of them a while to recover from the idea of the Philippines thing rather than the actual physical thing – the idea they had let the game down or had done something really naughty,” Longley told Fairfax Media at the ticket launch of the Boomers v USA game late last month.
“I think they are now reassured and it’s like getting back on the horse. They will be over it once we get out on the court, have a run, play Qatar and get out of Qatar without getting in any trouble.”
Longley took some time to work past his own disappointment following the brawl although Longley was praised for helping stop the fighting.
“It was a horrible thing, a disastrous thing and at the same time it has given us something to rally around as well,” Longley said.
“My wife reckons it took me a week to stop being grumpy, I haven’t been in that sort of thing before and my guess is that those things don’t happen from a single spark.
“So there was a lot of stuff that built up to it from the day before. I was responsible for pulling the stickers off the court, I started that, so all that stuff is part of the chain of events.
“I haven’t bought a beer at home for a while as everyone wants to talk about it but there is not many people in the town I live in so it doesn’t take that long to talk to everybody.”
The NBL-based Boomers will face some new adventures during this phase of qualifying as they will also play away games in Kazakhstan and Iran but they will take plenty of confidence from their undefeated run in winning the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon, last year.