PUREFOODS Star governor Rene Pardo on Thursday said a statement where he purpotedly compared Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao with iconic American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. at the height of the Daniel Orton controversy was taken out of context.
The longtime Purefoods official said all he ever wanted to point out was that Orton wore out his welcome when he ridiculed Pacquiao's foray into professional basketball as 'a joke' moments after the Hotshots lost to lowly KIA, 84-95, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
“May nagsabi nga sa akin na kinukumpara ko daw si Manny Pacquiao kay Martin Luther King. I never said that. Remember, they are two different persons,” Pardo told Spin.ph on Thursday in response to numerious US stories that lifted his statement from the official PBA website.
Pardo said he only wanted to point out that Orton should have been more careful with what he said about Pacquiao.
“All I was saying was, 'You’re in another country, you should also respect the personality (of Pacquiao).' Nothing else,” Pardo added.
A day after the post-game rant wherein he also accused PBA referees of making 'a mockery of the game,' Orton was fined P250,000 by the league and subsequently sent home by Purefoods which tapped former Best Import awardee Denzel Bowles in his place.
Pardo said his exact words were: "Parang may Pilipino na nagpunta sa US na binastos si Martin Luther King. Parang importanteng tao sa Amerika, either si Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy, you don't just go there at babastusin mo 'yun."
The Purefoods official said what hastened the decision to send Orton home was the availability of Bowles as his Chinese team, the Jilin Northeast Tigers, were swept, 3-0 by the Beijing Ducks led by former NBA star Stephon Marbury.
“They (Bowles’ team) just got eliminated, 3-0 nung kalaban nila, so when he became available, we had Denzel measured lying down in China and in the US, and both (measurements showed he was) below 6-9,” explained the Purefoods Star executive.
Bowles was cleared to play for the Hotshots after being officially measured by the PBA at 6-8 and 13/16 and debuted last Sunday in a 96-87 loss to Barangay Ginebra, scoring 31 points.