Johnson personally apologizes to Narvasa; ban now open for appeal

PBA (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Two days after apologizing online, Talk 'n Text import Ivan Johnson made peace with PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa as the two met at the league office on Tuesday.

Johnson voluntarily went to the office to personally apologize to Narvasa for his actions after incurring a flagrant foul in the second quarter of the Tropa's match with the Meralco Bolts on Saturday.

The said verbal tussle led to Narvasa quickly handing a lifetime ban on Johnson aside from the ejection from the game.

"Ivan came here on his own. I understand him, I don't think it's intentional, I don't think it's personal," the commissioner said about the American player's intent of apologizing personally to him.

On why he quickly sanctioned Johnson despite the game in question still ongoing, Narvasa clarified, "I hope fans will understand that I just want order inside the court. They have to understand the playing court is a place of work not a playground where there are no rules. I am as intense as everybody there."

Johnson then clarified about his tweet right after he was sent off, saying, "We need to learn about each other first. [Narvasa is] a good person. [About the tweet] 'The devil works all day,' I wasn't referring to him. If you just look on the basketball side, you won't know who I am. My passion for the game is way up here."

Johnson then said, "I appreciate every fan in the Philippines. No word to describe, they show so much love. I appreciate all the love."

Meanwhile, Narvasa softened his stance on the lifetime ban he meted to Johnson and said he is open to lift or at least shorten the penalty.

"I need to convene with the technical committee before I come out with a decision. Let's just wait for [TNT's] appeal," the commissioner said in particular.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno