Daniel Orton. File Photo.
MANILA, Philippines – The Purefoods organization had no intention of letting import Daniel Orton play another game for them after the former Kentucky standout was fined for a rant wherein he called KIA head coach Manny Pacquiao a "joke" of a basketball player.
Orton scored only six points and grabbed three rebounds in a humbling 84-95 setback to Pacquiao and the KIA Carnival, which also saw the "Pacman" score a point for the first time in his PBA career.
"This game is seriously a joke. The way the game was going, the refs took the game that I know and love, and they made it into a mockery," said Orton of the officiating crew.
Of Pacquiao, the basketball player, he said: "That's a joke. That's part of the joke I was talking about."
"Professional boxer, yeah, okay. Congressman, all right. Professional basketball player, no. It's a joke. Seriously, it's a joke," he said.
The PBA did not take Orton's rant lightly and fined him P250,000, saying his "insulting behavior" will not be condoned.
The Office of the Commissioner left Orton's fate up to the Purefoods organization, which acted swiftly.
"Wala na kaming balak pang palaruin si Orton," Purefoods official Rene Pardo told PBA.ph. "Nagalit lahat sa kanya."
Orton has since been sacked and will be replaced by Denzel Bowles, the former PBA Best Import who led Purefoods to the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup title.
"Kung ang PBA binigyan siya ng P250,000 fine, kami nagbigay sa kanya ng passport niya," said Pardo of Orton. "Papauwiin na namin."
Pardo made it clear they did not support Orton's view of Pacquiao.
"Pambansang Kamao natin 'yun," he said. "Para siyang nagpunta sa U.S. at binastos ang pangalan ni Martin Luther King."
Purefoods went 1-2 with Orton as an import, losing their past two games after a 4-0 start. Former import Marqus Blakely served as a place-holder for Orton in their first three games, all of which the Hotshots won.