MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has taken measures to prevent a repeat of the "Spider-Man" incident, which occurred during Game 5 last Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
A man wearing a full Spider-Man costume sprinted to the court late in Game 5, disrupting the ball game. He accidentally hit San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo, and bumped into Christian Standhardinger, before being confronted by Chris Ross.
The man, identified as Paolo Felizarta from Imus, Cavite, was soon stopped by venue security and dragged backstage.
Quinito Henson of The Philippine Star reported Monday that the league plans to implement a new protocol "to address intruders who enter the court during a game, in coordination with venue security and the police."
Security was noticeably stricter during Game 6 on Sunday, which saw San Miguel beat Magnolia, 98-86, to force a Game 7.
According to Henson, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial sought the assistance of NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar following the incident. Marcial also said the league "assumes responsibility" for the incident.
"I admit there were lapses, but they've been addressed," said Marcial, as quoted by Henson. "Our new protocol will direct security where to bring an intruder, once apprehended at Araneta."
"It should be directly to the security office, not passing through the corridor which is the access way for players and media," he added.
Henson also reported that Fajardo and Magnolia's Marc Pingris have expressed their desire to visit Felizarta, who has been charged with unjust vexation, alarm, and scandal.
Game 7 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals is on Wednesday, still at the Big Dome.
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