Guiao: Johnson ‘mentally unstable, but that should help us’

Naveen Ganglani
Guiao: Johnson ‘mentally unstable, but that should help us’
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao laments the fouls not called against rough play of Talk 'N Text import Ivan Johnson

MANILA, Philippines – In what’s become customary after each game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters head coach Yeng Guiao once again voiced his displeasure with the lack of calls on the physical Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters import Ivan Johnson following game 6 on Sunday, April 26.

The Elasto Painters defeated the Tropang Texters 101-93 to force a deciding seventh game on Wednesday, April 29.

IN VINES: Rain or Shine wins Game 6, evens the series

They had to win a sixth game where they trailed early in the first quarter and were on the receiving end of a number of hard fouls from Talk ’N Text – most of which coming from Johnson.

“What do you need to do to get a flagrant? He wasn’t after the ball,” an annoyed Guiao said during the post-game media conference as he referred to a foul by Johnson on Paul Lee in the fourth quarter where the import hit Lee on the face while defending his jumper.

“He wasn’t after the ball,” Guiao believes. “Sino naman maniniwala bola yung hinahabol niya (Who would believe he was after the ball)? He was two arms length away from the ball, and he knew he would get Paul’s face. I don’t understand. Why? What do you need to do to get a flagrant call?”

What do you need to do nga, diba? He’s been a menace. Yung bang una niyang siko kay Paul (in game two, when Lee lost his teeth), meron bang naniniwala sa kwarto na ito na hindi sadya yun?” Guiao asked those at the media room. “Is there somebody who will believe that’s not intentional? Wala naman eh. Eh kahit patawag, hindi tinatawag eh.

(His first elbow on Paul, is there anyone in this room who believes that wasn’t intentional? Even if you have him called for fouls, they don’t call it.)

“The last time,” Guiao talked about an incident that occurred in the past games, “nag-uusap si Paul at si Beau, dumaan siya sa gitna, nagkabangaan, kami pa yung tinechnical. Pero ngayon, wala na naman.

(Paul and Beau were talking, he came through the middle, hit them, and we were the ones called for a technical. But now, nothing again.)

While on a fastbreak play in the fourth quarter, Johnson lost control of the ball after Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu managed to get a hand in and disrupt the import’s momentum to the rim, nearly grabbing a steal.

Following the play, a clearly irritated Johnson seemed like he was going to charge at Tiu before being held back.

Hinabol niya si Chris, I don’t know why. Hinabol niya si Chris after Chris tried to steal the ball. For what? Why wasn’t he even warned? And he was in a fighting stance. Ewan ko bakit ganon. Ano nangyayari? Kalokohan eh, kalokohan,” Guiao said.

(He chased after Chris… I don’t know why it’s like this. What’s happening? It’s all a joke.)

“I think he’s mentally unstable,” the head coach said, “but that should help us.”

Johnson had his worst game since arriving in the PBA on Sunday, finishing with just 6 points on 2-of-9 shooting in what could have been his team’s championship-clinching victory had he played better.

Hounded by the pressure of Raymond Almazan (who had 18 points) and Rain or Shine’s swarming defense, Johnson committed turnovers, botched lay-ups, and shot an air-ball in the fourth quarter.

When talking to Rappler after the game, Guiao was asked if he would like the PBA to better monitor incoming imports who have questionable backgrounds such as Johnson, who was banned from the Korean Basketball League in 2010 for flicking off an official.

“Certainly, certainly,” Guiao said. “ And it’s not just really the background eh, because, I mean, you can give a guy a chance if he’s had a bad background, but if he’s coming in and he’s doing all those sorts of things, and you’re not doing enough, you know?”

“He chased Chris. He threw the ball at the audience. He keeps bumping people. He gets out of his way to bump people, and when we do that, we get called for technical fouls, and then they don’t call it on him,” the head coach continued.

“He pulled Paul in his face, and there was no chance to get at the ball at that point. That’s exactly the rule for a flagrant foul, and they did not apply it, so what else do you want to do? I’m surprised, actually.”

Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee holds on to his face after getting hit hard by Ivan Johnson. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Guiao says he simply wants the PBA officials to utilize the proper guidelines when it comes to Johnson’s rough-and-tough play.

“Apply the rules,” Guiao said. “What are the rules? You can get called for a technical if you do that. You can get fined. You can get suspended. Just apply the rules fairly – that’s all I want the PBA to do.” –

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