THE KIA Motors camp admitted on Thursday that it was hurt by Purefoods import Daniel Orton's 'below the belt' tirade against Manny Pacquiao, but expects no reaction from the boxing hero turned basketball playing-coach.
KIA team manager Eric Pineda said the team was saddened by Orton's comments, in which he dissed Pacquiao's foray into professional basketball as 'a joke' and slammed the referees for making a 'mockery of the game.'
Pineda, however, said they are leaving the matter in the hands of PBA commissioner Chito Salud, who they believe will deal with the matter accordingly.
Salud has summoned Orton to the PBA office on Friday.
“We just leave it up to the commissioner,” said Pineda, admitting that Orton's post-game tirade was a dampener to what should be a special night for the young KIA franchise.
Pineda also bared he felt bad for Pacquiao, who he said is in the PBA only to realize his dream.
“Syempre, nasaktan rin kami. Kasi wala namang ginagawang masama sa kanya yung tao. Saka ano gusto niyang palabasin? Hindi marunong mag-basketball si Manny? Naagawan ba niya ng bola kahit minsan,” said Pineda in a mellow tone.
Asked if Pacquiao was slighted by Orton’s remark, Pineda shook his head.
“Wala naman kay Manny 'yun. Knowing Manny, when you slap him in the right (cheek), he will give you his left. Pero kami sa team, syempre nasaktan,” Pineda said.
“That was totally uncalled for. We had a legitimate win and then you’ll hear something like that… masakit talaga,” added the Kia official.
Alhough his entry into the league has drawn ridicule from basketball purists, Pacquiao’s presence no doubt has added glitter to the PBA, which has been enjoying a revival of late.
The eight-division world boxing champion has also helped bring mainstream fans and media to the league.
Pacquiao’s chief of staff Caloy Homo said tirades like that will only serve as added motivation to the 'Pacman.'
“Okay lang kay boss 'yun. Hindi siya naapektuhan sa ganun, pero mas lalo siyang nagsisikap. Hindi ako magugulat kung after niya malaman 'yun, mas magbibigay siya ng time sa basketball niya,” said Homo.
The longtime Team Pacquiao head of security also revealed how Pacquiao allotted almost an hour for shooting practice in his posh Forbes home with members of his D-League team MP Hotel before going to the Purefoods game.
“Nag-shooting shooting rin siya kahapon bago kami bumiyahe ng Araneta. Ganun naman si boss. Vina-value niya kung ano ang meron siya, career man o kaibigan,” he said.