PUREFOODS Star has decided to send home controversial import Daniel Orton and took the risk of bringing in former Best Import awardee Denzel Bowles, in the hope that he would meet the 6-9 height limit.
Purefoods governor Rene Pardo said the team already asked Orton not to report for practice since Friday, which was a day after he went on a post-game rant that saw him label KIA playing-coach Manny Pacquiao 'a joke' and accuse league officials of making a 'mockery of the game.'
He was fined P250,000 for his 'disparaging' remarks and later told to pack his bags by management.
“Di na siya (Orton) pinag-ensayo kasi papalitan na namin siya,” Pardo told Spin.ph on Saturday .
With Orton set to go home, Purefoods has decided to bring back Bowles, in the hope that he would make the 6-9 limit. Bowles arrived 4 a.m. of Saturday and rested for a few hours before joining the Hotshots' 12 noon practice.
The switch was a risk the team was apparently willing to take, with Pardo saying the Hotshots were ready to play with an all-Filipino crew in the event Bowles fails to make the height requirement.
“Kinausap namin yung mga local players na lalaban kami na all-Filipino kapag di makalusot si Denzel,” he said.
Bowles, best remembered for leading B-Meg (Purefoods Star’s former brand name) to the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup title, is set to be measured at the PBA office on Saturday afternoon.
Pardo said they are confident that the sweet-shooting Bowles will make the height limit, saying the American reinforcement is slightly shorter than the wide-bodied Orton.
“Mas maliit pa siya (Bowles) kay Orton, at halos 99 percent sure kami na papasa siya sa height limit. So ngayon, nagpa-practice na siya with the locals,” said the amiable Purefoods Star team executive.
Should the 25-year-old Bowles pass the height measurement, he’s expected to play on Sunday against Barangay Ginebra.
Bowles is coming off an impressive stint with the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, posting averages of 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds.
The Tigers eventually lost to the Stephon Marbury-led Beijing Ducks in the quarterfinals more than a week ago.