The lifetime ban slapped on Tropang TNT import Ivan Johnson could possibly stay, but it’s probable that the American’s hefty P250,000 fine will slashed following his voluntary meeting with PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa on Tuesday at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.
Johnson came in to meet the league commissioner and personally apologized for his actions during the first half of the Tropang TNT-Meralco game on Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
“I just come in, showing that we met on bad terms and we need to learn about each other first. And it only took a minute (for us) to learn about each other,” Johnson told media men in a press briefing shortly after his 30-minute talk with Narvasa.
The 31-year-old Johnson came with his wife Jessica and two sons to meet Narvasa.
“He (Johnson) just he came here on his own volition. He extended his hand and apologized and I accept it,” said Narvasa, who even advised the stocky Tropang TNT import to smile more often in order not to be misunderstood by people.
Narvasa saw Johnson in another light following their meeting.
“I think it was done out of frustration and he just wants to win. So it was borne out of frustration, but nothing was meant as intentional or personal,” he said.
“It was a spur of the moment,” added the PBA commissioner.
The former coach-turned-PBA-commissioner said he intends to come out with his final decision on Johnson by Wednesday pending the appeal letter from the Tropang TNT.
“They will make an appeal with respect also to the fine, but we’ll just wait for the letter first before we come out with the final decision, at the latest tomorrow,” said Narvasa.
On Saturday, Johnson was slapped with a lifetime ban by Narvasa for “addressing the Commissioner with profanities and showing utter disrespect for authority.”
The comebacking import was ejected in the 4:21 mark of the first half after incurring a flagrant foul 1 penalty and an earlier technical foul. – Richard Dy (follow this writer on Twitter: @richava)