Alaska coach Compton apologizes for Talk 'N Text import confrontation
MANILA, Philippines — Alaska head coach Alex Compton is not proud of how he acted towards Talk 'N Text import Ivan Johnson in their heated tiff in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday, March 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Compton cooled down following a scuffle on the court with Johnson after the final buzzer of Talk 'N Text's 101-93 win over Alaska.
"All that matters on my side is that I did not conduct myself in an honorable manner," said the rookie head coach.
"That's what we emphasize as part of the 5 pillars of Alaska. We talk about honoring the fans, honoring the officials, honoring your opponents, honoring the coaches. And you always have a choice whether or not you're gonna honor people."
Compton gave Johnson an earful as both teams congratulated each other after the emotional contest, which saw Calvin Abueva and Johnson in each other's faces multiple times in the fourth period.
Abueva, who wound up with 16 points and 7 rebounds, was his usual teasing self in the final frame, trying to get into the head of Johnson, who finished with 47 points and 10 rebounds, and throw the import off his game.
But according to Alaska swingman Dondon Hontiveros, Abueva had snapped in the final minute after Johnson did something offensive near the Alaska bench, as told to Hontiveros by the team's utility staff.
Both Abueva and Johnson upped the taunting a notch higher as Alaska was making a comeback, hanging around the Talk 'N Text bench and the Alaska huddle, respectively, during timeouts.
Abueva had his hands behind his back throughout his taunting, barely separating himself from Johnson despite referees intervening, and continued to pester an already agitated Johnson.
Compton tried to pacify Abueva and at one point literally carried him out of the way but he, too, failed to control his temper.
"I got mad. I didn't actually say anything personally hurtful to Johnson but I raised my voice, I raised my voice repeatedly and that's just wrong," he explained his actions.
"Doesn't matter what he did or what I did. I just should not conduct myself that way. I need to do a better job as a leader. I guess that's one of those rookie coach mistakes so hopefully I learn from it and don't repeat it."
The arguments escalated as both teams made their way into the locker rooms where Johnson, according to Hontiveros, waited around for Abueva, causing a commotion outside the dugout.
Compton said he has yet to make a full assessment of what happened by watching the tape.
"I actually have to watch the tape. A lot of times stuff is far from the court. I don't know who actually got hit, who did it, if there's any extra motion," Compton said.
"My guess is there's probably extra motion both ways and I think the guys know me I just want to make sure nobody gets hurt."
Compton and Johnson reconciled immediately after the game and apologized for their actions.
Both Abueva and Johnson declined to be interviewed.
For his part, Talk 'N Text head coach Jong Uichico admits there is a certain level of expectation already for those occurrences with the playoffs looming.
"It happens in the game," Uichico said as his team clinched the second and last twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals. "We know that the other team will always try to get an advantage somewhere else. It happens."
"This is almost part of the playoffs. The intensity and emotion is so high. We just have to be ready for that," he added. — Rappler.com