MANILA, Philippines – Tempers were high and physicality was at its peak during game three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters on Sunday, April 19, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters prevailed with a 109-97 win to take a 2-1 series lead, but not before a number of flagrant, technical, and hard fouls transpired during the game.
Rain or Shine star point guard Paul Lee had the most beat-up evening, as an accidental elbow from Talk ’N Text import Ivan Johnson left one of his teeth on the arena floor and the other two displaced in his gums.
Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
Trash talk was evident throughout the contest and it escalated to a point where Johnson challenged Rain or Shine forward Ryan Araña to confront him after the game, and, true to his word, waited for him near the Araneta Coliseum parking lot.
Once Araña reached the vicinity, the two got into a verbal altercation before being separated by JR Quinahan, Jericho Cruz, Lee, and others.
After tensions cleared and the import left, Araña told the media that Johnson told him, “‘I’ll see you after the game,’” while the two were in the middle of game three.
Araña also said that while in-play, Johnson challenged him to a fight following the game. Araña responded by saying the two go at it during the contest instead.
Commotion took place near the parking lot as Ryan Arana and Ivan Johnson exchanged words pic.twitter.com/4KmLVYvR4y — Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) April 19, 2015
After Araña ran into Johnson, who was waiting for him at the hallway connecting the Araneta Coliseum offices to the parking lot, the Rain or Shine forward didn’t back down and was heard saying “Let’s go!” before he was separated from the import.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao called the import a danger to other players.
This isn’t the first time Johnson has been involved in an altercation since coming to the PBA. The basketball journeyman nearly got into a fight with Purefoods forward Marc Pingris after the physical game one of their teams’ semifinal series.