After coming up short with Ginebra, Orlando Johnson plots his return to NBA
Orlando Johnson insists Calvin Abueva didn't get into his head. Jerome Ascano

ORLANDO Johnson insisted Calvin Abueva didn’t get into his head or his Barangay Ginebra teammates during a critical stretch in the team’s 114-108 loss to Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals on Friday night.

The Gin Kings import engaged the Aces energizer bunny in several physical plays that led to a commotion which also involved LA Tenorio and coach Frankie Lim midway in the third period.

“C’mon, I’m not worried about him,” the 26-year-old Johnson said. “I’ve been playing this game way too long to be worried by some guy trying to take me off my game.”

The incident that resulted in technical fouls to the involved personalities appeared to have fired up the Aces and sparked their comeback from as much as a 14-point deficit.

But Johnson stressed it wasn’t the case. The import said he didn't deserve the technical that he got.

“I don’t think it was technical-worthy and all that. But the refs made the call. It is what it is,” the prolific wingman said.

“But I don’t think that really dictated on how the game turned out,” he was quick to add. “We had our chances. We just didn’t capitalize.”

Now, the Gin Kings are off to another early vacation and Johnson is sad to come up short.

“It sucks that it had to end this way,” Johnson said. “The team’s way too talented. And we’re so much better than that.”

“Ever since the first game, I’ve got so much love here. I wanted to bring a championship here so bad,” he added. “But I’m thankful for everything the Lord has given me and bringing me here. It’s really been a blessing.”

Johnson said the PBA experience will help his career down the road as he plots his return to the NBA.

“It’s a great stepping stone for my career,” continued the former Indiana Pacer, who averaged 34.2 points in the elimination round where he scored at least 41 points in four games. learned that Johnson has been invited to play for the Washington Wizards’ summer league team.

“That’s where my mind’s at now, looking forward to get back in the NBA,” he said. “I’m an NBA-caliber player and I’m going to show them when I get there.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos