by Jonas Terrado
The friendly neighborhood PBA commissioner is ready to talk with the finals-crashing web-spinner.
Commissioner Willie Marcial is willing to sit down with the man who was arrested for rushing into the court wearing a Spider-Man costume during Friday’s Philippine Cup Finals game between Magnolia and San Miguel Beer at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Marcial said he is looking to shed more light on the incident with the suspect later identified as Paolo Felizarta, who clambered over the waist-high barrier along the baseline and sprinted into the playing court with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter of Magnolia’s 88-86 victory.
His entry while carrying a sign stating “Vote Love” resulted in a collision with San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, who fell to the floor cupping his jaw.
Felizarta was later detained at QCPD Station 7 in nearby P. Tuazon St. but not after being mobbed by yellow-clad bouncers and getting punched by San Miguel’s Ronald Tubid.
The suspect underwent inquest proceedings Saturday and could file a bail as early as Tuesday. He is facing charges of alarm and scandal and unjust vexation.
“Gusto ko makausap pagkatapos mag-bail,” Marcial said, adding that Fajardo had expressed interest in visiting the suspect.
Marcial, however, clarified that the league will continue to pursue filing charges against Felizarta to ensure that similar incidents will be avoided in the future.
The superhero-like distraction was the first of its kind for the league, though it had dealt with circumstances of a lesser degree in the past.
“Dun lang sa pag-file ng kaso para wala lang sumunod, hindi lang sa liga natin pati sa ibang sports,” said Marcial.
Meanwhile, Marcial allayed concerns that the incident could mean lessened fans accessibility with the players as stricter security measures are expected to be implemented in Sunday’s Game 6 being played at press time at the Big Dome.
Marcial had requested for additional security from Araneta management and NCRPO chief Guillermo Eliazar following the incident.
But the league chief noted that fans, from now on, will be disallowed in other areas such as the dugout and the players’ parking area.
Venue security guards are also expected to monitor crowd reaction more closely especially in the fourth quarter when action reaches its highest gear.