TALK ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico felt Ivan Johnson tiptoed a bit in Game Two of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Rain or Shine after getting slapped a hefty fine in the series opener.
The Tropang Texters import appeared to lack aggression and deferred at times to Jayson Castro in Game Two as they lost, 116-108, leaving the best-of-seven series tied at 1-all.
Asked in the post-game press conference if he thought the P150,000 fine for his bump on Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao affected his ward, Uichico didn’t rule out the possibility.
“He could be (holding back a little),” the multi-titled mentor said. “I can’t definitely say, but it’s a possibility that he was, you could say more careful, probably.”
Johnson put up 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, 12 boards, and five assists against two turnovers in 31 minutes in the series opener.
The former Atlanta Hawk even played more minutes the next game with 43, but tallied just 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, along with 12 rebounds, four assists, and one steal, and committed five turnovers.
The temperamental reinforcement declined to grant Spin.ph an interview after the game.