CONTROVERSIAL import Ivan Johnson takes his act to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) as he reinforces Alab Pilipinas in its campaign in the 2017-18 season.
Coach Jimmy Alapag confirmed to SPIN.ph that Johnson is being tapped by Alab after the team made the announcement through its Twitter account @AlabPilipinas.
Alapag was the Katropa team manager when Johnson steered TnT to the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup championship, winning over Rain or Shine in seven games.
The 33-year-old American, who played for two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, had another tour of duty with the telecommunication franchise the following year, though the stint didn't end up as successful as the first one.
Johnson was banned for a season and fined P150K by commissioner Chito Narvasa for cursing and disrespecting him during a Commissioner's Cup game between TnT and Meralco.
The native of San Antonio, Texas was initially meted a lifetime ban and P250K fine, but was later reduced by Narvasa when Johnson, accompanied by his wife and children, personally went to Narvasa's office and apologized.
Alapag has given his full trust to Johnson and doesn't see any problem getting his services despite his reputation as a temperamental import.
"I don't see any issues in our preparation for the upcoming season with Ivan on our team," said Alapag.
"We're excited to have him on board," the former PBA MVP added. "I feel he gives Alab a great opportunity to compete for the championship this season."
Reports gathered by SPIN.ph had TnT considering rehiring Johnson back in the last Commissioner's Cup when his season-long ban had been over, but nothing came out of the plan.
Now, he'll suit up for Alab and get reunited with his former team manager.
Johnson last played with Sagesse in the Lebanese Basketball League.