Purefoods import Orton says he has ‘very big shoes to fill’ filling in for Blakely
MANILA, Philippines — Purefoods’ first-choice import Daniel Orton arrived Tuesday night — just in time to catch the Hotshots play against Philippine Cup finalist Alaska at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Orton watched as his squad went on to score a 108-88 drubbing of the Aces and saw first-hand the player he is about to replace in Marqus Blakely.
“I have very big shoes to fill,” Orton acknowledged. “Marqus is a great player. He puts up great numbers and they have a lot of expectations on me and I understand that.”
Blakely was brought in for the fourth time by Purefoods, initially to be the team’s import for the Governors’ Cup. Instead, he was asked to fill in temporarily until Orton comes over from his stint in the Chinese Basketball Association.
The 6-foot-5 Blakely, the smallest among imports in the Commissioner’s Cup, stood tall anew with 17 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in what could be his final game for the Hotshots this conference with Purefoods head coach Tim Cone looking at the possibility of parading Orton as early as Friday against Blackwater.
“If Daniel can pick up our stuff fast then maybe Daniel will play,” said Cone. “We’ll be playing against a big import in Marcus Douthit so Daniel’s coming in basically at the right time for us.”
Orton will join Purefoods in practice Wednesday and the first order of business for the former NBA reserve, who had stops in three different teams and played for 51 games, is to familiarize himself with his new teammates.
“We’ll figure out to how are we going to fit and how are we going to win another championship,” said Orton, who will be measured at the PBA Office Wednesday.
“I think we have a great group of players and a great coach in coach Cone and it’s going to be exciting to get involved.”
Orton also said that there’s added pressure playing for a team that is expected to win a championship like Purefoods, which recently won a Grand Slam.
“There’s added pressure but I enjoy pressure and I love pressure. I play better under pressure. So as much expectation and pressure they put on me, I gladly accept it.”
Blakely powers Purefoods rout of Alaska
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