MANILA, Philippines – Purefoods import Daniel Orton mouthed off following a 95-84 defeat at the hands of expansion team KIA, declaring that playing coach Manny Pacquiao playing in the PBA is “a joke.”
“That’s a joke. That’s part of the joke I was talking about,” Orton said Wednesday, February 18 when asked what it was like for him to play against the Philippine boxing icon.
“Professional boxer, yeah okay. Congressman, alright. Professional basketball player? No. It’s a joke. Seriously, it’s a joke.”
Orton, 24, had an off-night in the loss, scoring just 6 points on a miserably 1-of-7 field goals. He also had just 3 rebounds and played for only 19 minutes and 23 seconds due to foul trouble.
“I’m really upset about my performance tonight,” said a visibly very upset Orton. “I’m worried about the loss, yeah, you hate losing, you hate losing two in a row and I know the Purefoods fans that’s not acceptable to them.”
The 6-foot-9 former Oklahoma City center, who fouled out with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the game as KIA pulled away for their second huge upset of the season, also aired his comments about the officiating.
“This game was seriously a joke,” he said. “The way the game was going the refs made it into a mockery, seriously. They took the game that I know and love and made it into a mockery.”
Orton played his third game for the Hotshots, who now lost back to back games after a 4-0 start, after taking over from temporary import Marqus Blakely.
Unhappy but determined, Orton promised he will bounce back strong from this loss on Sunday, February 22 when Purefoods clashes with rivals Barangay Ginebra.
“I’m way better than this and I’ll show that on Sunday in our next game.I’ll come back harder and stronger come Sunday, I promise you that,” he vowed.
“It doesn’t matter what team it was, it’s the fact that we lost. I take it on my shoulders more than anyone. I was the one who didn’t do my job tonight and I’ll take that in for consideration. I’ll take all the pressure and I’ll come back stronger Sunday.”
Added motivation for him will also be to avoid becoming one of the imports replaced mid-conference.
“I know what a lot of fans are thinking. I’m on Twitter and I see the ‘Bring back Blakely’ so that’s gonna fuel me even more. Marqus Blakely is a great player, I have nothing against him but I wanna be here. They brought me here to do my job and I’ll do that.”
Despite being resolute about the future, Orton couldn't let go of the game that had just concluded.
"This game was a joke," Orton declared as he walked away from reporters.