MANILA, Philippines – Ronald Tubid admitted he was just caught in the heat of the moment after punching the fan dressed as Spider-Man who disrupted Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals on Friday, May 10.
The man identified as Paolo Felizarta rushed to the court of the Araneta Coliseum flashing a placard that had "Vote! Love!" written on it and inadvertently hit June Mar Fajardo on his right jaw while running.
Felizarta was immediately apprehended by security personnel before he was punched on the back of his head by Tubid as he exited the court.
Tubid said he just acted in defense of his teammate. (READ: 'Mali 'yung way niya': June Mar Fajardo feels for 'Spider-Man')
"Nagdilim paningin ko. 'Di ko lubos matanggap na bakit. As a veteran, kailangan ko ipagtanggol teammate ko," the 37-year-old guard told reporters after being caught on camera landing the punch.
(I was angry. I couldn't wrap my head around what happened. As a veteran, I need to defend my teammate.)
Tubid, though, conceded he should not have resorted to violence.
"Hindi natin alam kung ano nasa mind niya. Pero sa nagawa ko, ako 'yung humihingi ng sorry. Kasi mali rin eh," he said.
(We don't know what he was thinking. But I'm saying sorry for what I did because it was wrong.)
"If there's something wrong with his mind – kung sira ulo ba or ano – kailangan maintindihan eh. Dapat 'di ko ginawa."
(If there's something wrong with his mind – if he's crazy or something – he should have been understood. I shouldn't have done what I did.)
Felizarta was adamant he meant no harm, saying he had trouble seeing through his mask when he bumped Fajardo.
Other placards recovered from him had "peace for the Philippines," "support PBA" and "Filipinos unite as one!" written on them.
These were the placards 'Spider-Man' identified as Paolo Felizarta brought to the Araneta Coliseum when he stormed the court in Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals #PBAFinals | @dioquinodelfin pic.twitter.com/RByRMl5uSA — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) May 10, 2019
He was visited by his younger brother and cousin, who bared they are mulling to take legal action against Tubid. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.