Letran Knights player Paolo Javilionar drew flak after he was caught in a televised men’s basketball game touching Will Gozum’s bottom on Sunday, December 4.
This happened during the 4th quarter of the first game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 98 best-of-three finals.
College of Saint Benilde Blazers player Gozum was waiting for his teammates to bring down the ball when Javilionar, who was guarding the CSB player, grabbed Gozum’s backside.
This prompted the referee to give the Letran Knights player a warning.
Gozum said he was disappointed over Javilionar’s actions during the game.
“Gano’n ‘yung ugali niya siguro. We don’t tolerate that kind of player,” the CSB player was quoted in a GMA News report.
“Siguro physicality matatanggap ko pero ‘yung ganoon? Kahit sino namang player, madidismaya sa ganoon but okay lang, tanggap ko naman. Kung ganoon siya, so be it,” Gozum added.
On Twitter, Gozum also expressed his disgust over what happened.
— Will Allen Gozum (@gozuming) December 4, 2022
Social media users condemned Javilionar’s action. They said it is “unethical” and could be considered a physical assault and sexual harassment.
“Physical assault and sexual harassment in a single game. Bulok na bulok mag laro pinilay lahat ng CSB players,” a social media user wrote.
“This isn’t even mind games or power assertion. IT’S DISTURBING. Shame on the people who decided to take this lightly,” an online user said.
“This is so inappropriate,” a Twitter user said.
“Yung mind games ni anteh very uncomfy and disturbing ha,” an online user said.
“Dirty player,” a Twitter user wrote.
“[This] should not be tolerated. I don’t think Colegio de San Juan de Letran will be proud of such action,” a Facebook user wrote.
Some also called the attention of the NCAA to hold Javillionar accountable for his actions.
“It’s about time the NCAA heads stop this kind of dirty tactics,” a social media user said.
“Kitang kita sa camera. Sexual harassment. The NCAA should not condone this,” a Twitter user wrote.
“SUSPEND JAVILLONAR!!! Harap-harapang sexual assault caught on camera. This ain’t a joke @NCAAPhilippines,” a social media user said.
NCAA has yet to release a statement about the issue as of writing.
Last month, another NCAA player, John Amores of Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers made headlines after he ran amok in a different game against CSB. He is currently facing suspension.
Meanwhile, CSB lost to Letran nights at 81-75. The two teams are set to face off again for Game 2 on Sunday, December 11.
Despite CSB’s loss, Gozum, a frontrunner for this season’s MVP award, set good records in the game with 18 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block.