MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A man dressed in a Spider-Man costume was brought to jail after disrupting Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals at the Arenta Coliseum on Friday, May 10.
The man identified as Paolo Felizarta stormed the court holding a placard with "Vote! Love!" written on it with 3 minutes left in the final frame and accidentally hit San Miguel star center June Mar Fajardo on his right jaw.
Fajardo fell down on the floor in pain as Felizarta was apprehended by security personnel at the venue.
Felizarta was brought and detained at the Station 7 of the Quezon City Police District.
"Gusto ko lang po mag-send ng message. Eleksyon po kasi," Felizarta curtly replied when asked by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial why he pulled off the stunt.
(I just want to send a message because it's the elections.)
"Gusto ko lang pong magmahalan tayo. Gusto ko lang magmahalan tayo, 'yun lang, wala ng iba po."
(I just want all of us to give love. That's it. Nothing more.)
Felizarta also apologized for hitting Fajardo, claiming he had problems seeing through his mask.
"'Yung message ko nga po pagmamahal tapos mananakit po? Hindi ko po kayang gawin 'yun. Hindi ko po kita. Siya po 'yung bumangga sa akin," he said.
(My message is to love so I won't do anything to hurt other people. I didn't see him. Fajardo was the one who bumped to me.)
There were two other men who were caught in the scene, namely Rayahn Paredes and Flenn John Lola.
Lola was assumed to be Felizarta's accomplice while Paredes, who was sitting on the stands behind the basket, was caught punching Lola as he was ushered out of the court.
Police said Lola and Paredes settled their dispute at a nearby barangay hall.
Marcial revealed they are taking legal action against Felizarta.
"Pinapatanong ko sa legal namin kung anong klaseng kakasuhan, kakasuhan namin 'yung tao," Marcial said.
(I asked our legal team what kind of case we're going to file against him. We will file a case against him.)
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.