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Basketball

Johnson ban lifted; penalty reduced to season-long suspension, 150K fine

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The PBA announced on Wednesday that the lifetime ban previously imposed on Tropang TNT import Ivan Johnson has been lifted and reduced to a season-long suspension.

Johnson’s 250,000-peso fine has also been downgraded to just 150,000 pesos.

PBA Commissioner Atty. Chito Narvasa had said previously that he would wait for an appeal from TNT and would meet with the technical committee to come up with a decision.

“I will wait for a letter coming from them (TNT) and at the latest come out with a decision,” Narvasa said yesterday. “We have a process here. Any concern goes through a technical committee. I need to convene with the technical committee before I come out with a decision.”

Narvasa also commented on the immediacy of the ban imposed last Saturday, calling for respect on the playing court which he calls “a place of work.”

“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,” he said.

Tropang TNT Virgil Villavicencio said Johnson, who had issued a statement days ago, was apologetic about the incident.

“He was truly sorry for the incident. He was really sorry, he really wanted to come over and say sorry to the Commissioner. I think sincerity and concern for the league is important to hin (Johnson) and TNT,” he said.

Johnson added: “I appreciate every fan in the Philippines. No word to describe, they show so much love. I appreciate all the love.”

Johnson scored only nine points against Meralco, in what turned about to be his lone game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup this season.

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