MANILA, Philippines – Import Ivan Johnson's lifetime ban from the PBA has been reduced to just this 2015-16 season, the league announced Wednesday, February 17.
The Tropang TNT reinforcement's P250,000 fine has also been downgraded to just P150,000.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa made the decision to lower the penalty on Johnson after the former Atlanta Hawk volunteered to personally apologize to Narvasa through a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday, February 16.
Johnson, who also issued a public apology on Sunday, February 14, succeeded in showing the commissioner who he is as a person out the court as both parties reconciled after a roughly 30-minute discussion. (READ: PBA commissioner to Johnson's fans: 'I hope they'll understand')
The ill-tempered American – infamous for his intense on-court persona and aggressive antics – was initially banned from the league for life on Saturday, February 13 after he cursed at Narvasa in the heat of the TNT-Meralco game. (READ: Ill-tempered Johnson import Johnson a joker off-court, but also moody)
The 31-year-old Johnson, who also brought his wife and two kids to meet Narvasa, is set to leave the Philippines on Saturday, February 20, according to team manager Virgil Villavicencio on the PBA website.
Johnson was previously banned from the Korean Basketball League in 2010 for flicking off a referee. The last import to be banned from the PBA was Renaldo Balkman for choking Arwind Santos in 2013. – Rappler.com
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