Defending champion Purefoods Star will have a new import for today’s much-awaited showdown with crowd-favorite Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In the event comebacking Denzel Bowles fails to pass the required height limit of 6-foot-9, the Hotshots are ready to play without an all-Filipino unit.
The management recalled Bowles after severing ties with the controversial import Daniel Orton who was given a pink slip the other day for lambasting the league and the referees.
Purefoods team official Rene Pardo said Bowles was set to be measured yesterday afternoon.
“We discussed it to the players, and they are ready if in case Bowles doesn’t make it,” said Pardo yesterday when contacted by The Bulletin. “We already sent Orton his release papers, we don’t like his attitude.”
Purefoods is taking chances with Bowles, who is actually their original choice but had qualm since the veteran player might be over the height limit.
The game between the Kings (2-3) and the Hotshots (4-2) – two of the popular teams in the league – is scheduled at 5:15 p.m., while clashing at 3 p.m. is Globalport (3-3) and expansion team Blackwater (1-4).
After a 4-0 start, the Tim Cone-mentored squad suffered back-to-back defeats the past week.
Purefoods first lost to Rain or Shine, 78-71, in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, before getting the shock of its life when it bowed to expansion Kia, 95-84, last Wednesday at the Big Dome.
In that game, the 6-foot-9 Orton was held to just six points on a woeful 1-of-7 shooting from the field with just three rebounds before fouling out with three mintutes to play.
After the game, Orton criticized the officiating, saying it made a “mockery” of the game, and then continued his tirade when he added that Kia’s player-coach, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao “was part of the joke” in the PBA.
Orton’s comments earned the ire of the league and PBA Commissioner Chito Salud who slapped him with a P250,000 penalty last Friday.
Purefoods will face a team that is also trying to get out of the rut.
The Kings are still smarting from a 104-103 defeat to Talk ’N Text exactly a week ago at the Big Dome.
Another interesting match is the game between Blackwater and Globalport, which finally won with new import Calvin Warren who had 23 points and 20 rebounds in a 99-81 victory over Barako Bull.
Blackwater, on the other hand, is coming off a 106-79 loss to NLEX last week after a breakthrough win against Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer that snapped a three-game skid this conference and 14-game winless campaign dating back to the all-Filipino when it went 0-11.