Alapag doesn't expect any problems with temperamental Alab import Ivan Johnson
Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag believes Ivan Johnson will be embraced by Filipino fans because of his passion for the game. Jerome Ascano  

ALAB Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag doesn't see any problems in handling controversial import Ivan Johnson in the coming Asean Basketball League (ABL) season.

Johnson gained notoriety as import of TNT in the PBA, where he was initially issuing a life ban for cursing and disrespecting Commissioner Chito Narvasa in a February 2016 game at the Philsports Arena.

The life ban was reduced to a season-long suspension after Johnson issued an apology.

Johnson declined to grant an interview when approached the 33-year-old import during the league's press conference on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Alapag said he doesn't expect any issues with the temperamental import this season after his brush with the PBA commissioner.

"No problems at all. No problems at all," Alapag assured.

Alapag believes Johnson, who led TNT to the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup crown, will be embraced by Filipino fans because of his passion for the game.

"I don't expect any issues and I think Filipino fans will see that he shares the same passion for the game that we all do."

Prior to signing with Alab, Johnson played in Iran for Petrochimi before playing for Caciques de Humacao in Puerto Rico and Sagesse in Lebanon, as well as a stint in the BIG3 tournament with the Ghost Ballers.

"The fact that he will play for Alab, I think I know he is ready to embrace our fans and I'm sure our fans are ready to embrace him on opening game," said Alapag.

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