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PBA: Purefoods sends Orton home

Daniel OrtonManila, Philippines – Purefoods will let go of its import Daniel Orton following the Hotshots’ eye-popping loss to expansion club Kia Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-10 Orton, who had a miserable night, making just six points in 20 minutes of play owing to foul trouble, even lashed at the league, the referees and even Kia’s playing coach Manny Pacquiao after the game.

“What he (Orton) said was not right. He hit Pacquiao, who is considered a national treasure,” said the basketball man who requested anonymity.

Orton, who played for University of Oklahoma and saw action in the NBA, told reporters that Pacquiao’s participation in the league is a joke.

Coupled with his tasteless remarks, Purefoods, according to the source, has decided to give Orton the pink slip.

Orton’s performance was obviously affected by the presence of 7-4 PJ Ramos, who imposed his will inside the shaded lane.

Meanwhile, Purefoods Star’s representative to the PBA Board of Governors, Rene Pardo, said Orton’s comments don’t represent the company in any way.

“What he said is not the sentiment of the team, it’s uncalled for,” said Pardo. “I don’t know why he said that, about the league and Manny Pacquiao.”

It was the Hotshot’s second straight defeat after a 4-0 start – and the squad is now 1-2 with Orton, who took over from interim import Marqus Blakely.

Sources said Blakely might be recalled by Purefoods.

“The way the game was going, the refs, they made it into a mockery, seriously,” Orton said. “They took the game that I know and love and made it into a mockery. You saw what happened out there. I couldn’t be physical at all.”

Orton also criticized Pacquiao who finally made his first basket in his PBA career when he split his free throws early in the second period.

“That’s part of the joke I was talking about,” said Orton. “Professional boxer, okay. Congressman, alright. Professional basketball player? No. It’s a joke. Seriously, it’s a joke.” (With report from Waylon Galvez)