NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez has a 'bad feeling' about new Purefoods import Daniel Orton
Daniel Orton arrived over the weekend but only practiced with Purefoods starting on Monday to rest a swollen shooting hand he injured in his last game in China. Jaime Campos

PUREFOODS' decision to switch from Marqus Blakely to Daniel Orton has left NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez in a quandary.

“Hindi naman nila siguro papalitan si Blakely ng basta-basta kung hindi talaga mahusay yung papalit,” he told “Imagine, they won three straight (games) with Blakely, yet they still decided to replace him.

"That says a lot about the new import coming in,” he added.

On Wednesday, Fernandez and NLEX will have a better idea on how good Orton is when they take on Purefoods in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

For now, Fernandez said he had to settle for Youtube videos of the former Orlando Magic draftee, saying NLEX is a world of trouble if Orton is as good as the videos show he is.

“Ilang gabi rin namin siyang pinanood sa Youtube. Grabe yung Orton. Malakas, masipag saka katulad ni Blakely na energy guy rin. Malaki siya pero tumatakbo,” said Fernandez, shaking his head.

“Puro dunk, supalpal at power play mga nakita ko eh. Hopefully we can match up well with him. Ang palaisipan talaga sa amin ngayon is, he is big yet he runs. We’ll see what he brings to the table for Purefoods,” added the one-time PBA champion coach.

Hotshots shooting guard Allein Maliksi gave a glimpse of what to expect from Orton who only practiced with the team last Monday and Tuesday as he needed to recover from a swollen right hand.

“Masipag siya saka ma-hustle. Parang bato ang katawan niya sa banggaan,” said Maliksi. “Sana maka-jell siya agad sa team. Mukhang okay naman siya sa triangle (offense).”

Fernandez hopes that his own import Al Thornton, an NBA veteran, can stand his ground against Orton.

“I just hope Al can impose his will on him. I trust our guy, he’s a veteran,” Fernandez told during the 10th anniversary celebration of NLEX Tollways at the SM SkyDome in North Edsa on Tuesday night.


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