Barroca, Orton lead Purefoods’ rout of NLEX
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mark Barroca posted 17 points, 9 rebounds and two assists, while import Daniel Orton debuted strong with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Purefoods Star Hotshots in an 87-62 thrashing of the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday, February 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 24-year old Orton, who was a first round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, played his first game for the Hotshots as the much smaller Marqus Blakely stepped aside after serving as temporary import for the team’s first 3 games.
“Marqus has been such a monster for us and he’s given us so much energy, and when he comes on the team he permeates energy among the team,” Purefoods head coach Tim Cone said. “I think they got a real good habit of having Marqus around for the past month and it carried over today.”
Purefoods, which retained its immaculate slate with their fourth straight victory, waited for Orton to finish his committment in the Chinese Basketball Association. He arrived just last week and quickly went to work acclimating himself to Tim Cone’s triangle offense.
“Daniel played with a lot of energy too. He kept right on going. He’s a big man and he runs the floor well. So he’s big and quick, which is kind of unusual. I think when they saw him being able to do those things I think that lifted the emotions of all the players. It was a tough decision letting Marqus (go),” Cone explained, adding that Orton controlling the boards makes Purefoods “that much tougher defensively.”
“It was quite rewarding to see Daniel come out and play so well with so much enthusiasm and energy. The skills are unquestioned, the size is unquestioned. He’s showed us tonight that he’s happy to be here, he’s happy to be with his teammates and he’s ready to come out here and play. He sent a real nice message to his teammates tonight.”
Orton’s message did not take long to resonate.
Barroca took Orton’s cue and was a bundle of energy for Purefoods in the second half. His 10 third quarter points effectively padded on to the Hotshots’ 36-26 halftime lead and made it a comfortable 65-45 advantage heading into the last 12 minutes of the game.
There was nothing a still winless NLEX could do in the fourth with their 29% field goal shooting compared to Purefoods’ 44%.
The Hotshots dominated the Road Warriors from rebounds, 60-43, to assists, 23-10. Allein Maliksi and Joe Devance added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The Road Warriors, on the other hand, dropped their third straight game, unable to fully exploit its tall frontline of Asi Taulava and Al Thornton.
The 6-foot-8 Thornton had a miserable outing, finishing with just 11 points on a poor 3-of-14 field goals. He also had 7 rebounds.
KG Canaleta carried NLEX with his 13 points built on 3-of-6 three-pointers to go with 5 boards. While Taulava was also neutralized to just 11 points along with 14 rebounds.
NLEX faces an inspired Blackwater, which notched its first-ever win today, on Tuesday, February 17. While Purefoods and Orton will get a quick acid test versus Rain or Shine on Valentine’s Day Saturday in Dipolog City.
“We have Rain or Shine in Dipolog and I think that’s gonna be the true test for Daniel,” Cone said. “Playing Rain or Shine is always a big test for us. That will be a real tough battle for us. They play big imports about about as well as any team does.”
PUREFOODS (87) - Barroca 17, Orton 16, Maliksi 13, Devance 11, Pingris 7, Yap 7, Melton 4, Mallari 4, Pennisi 3, Taha 2, Gaco 2, Reavis 1, Alvarez 0, Allado 0.
NLEX (62) - Canaleta 13, Thornton 11, Taulava 11, Cardona 9, Ramos 7, Arboleda 3, Baloria 3, Lingganay 2, Borboran 2, Villanueva J. 1, Hermida 0, Soyud 0, Camson 0, Apinan 0.
Quarterscores: 22-20, 36-26, 65-45, 87-62