US player sacked for Pac­quiao in­sult

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MANILA — Philip­pine bas­ket­ball au­thor­i­ties have sacked and fined an Amer­i­can im­port for ridi­cul­ing na­tional boxing hero Manny Pac­quiao’s quest to be­come a pro­fes­sional bas­ket­baller.

For­mer NBA player Daniel Or­ton hit the head­lines last week af­ter play­ing against Pac­quiao in the lo­cal pro-league, a game in which the 1.69-me­tre boxing cham­pion scored a soli­tary point.

“Pro­fes­sional boxer, yeah, okay... pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball player, no. It’s a joke,” said Or­ton, (24), who signed with the Pure­foods Hot­shots team just this month.or­ton ap­peared to sim­ply be adding his voice to wide­spread crit­i­cism in the Philip­pines that Pac­quiao is a rel­a­tively tal­ent­less bas­ket­baller who gained his coach­ing-play­ing role with the Kia Car­ni­val team be­cause of his boxing fame.

But his com­ments were too much for Philip­pine bas­ket­ball chiefs.his team sacked Or­ton late last week, and he posted a farewell to his fans in the Philip­pines on Twit­ter on Mon­day.

“I thank God for my time in the Philip­pines and thank Pure­foods for ev­ery­thing. I wish the team the best of luck,” Or­ton said.the team’s top ad­min­is­tra­tor, Rene Pardo, was quoted in lo­cal me­dia as say­ing Or­ton had been let go for in­sult­ing Pac­quiao.

“Ev­ery­one is an­gry at him... it is like he went to the United States and in­sulted the name of Martin Luther King,” the ABSCBN news web­site quoted Pardo as say­ing.

The Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion also fined Or­ton 250,000 pe­sos (M61 438) for his com­ments.

“This of­fice dis­ap­proves of and frowns upon the cav­a­lier man­ner in which Mr Or­ton is­sued his com­ments and the un­war­ranted an­tics and lib­er­ties he has taken with the league and a fel­low player,” PBA com­mis­sioner Chito Salud said in a state­ment.

“This in­sult­ing be­hav­iour will never be con­doned by this league.”

Pac­quiao, who has won world boxing ti­tles in an un­prece­dented eight weight di­vi­sions, is sport­ing roy­alty in the Philip­pines.he has also used his boxing fame to launch a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, and he cur­rently serves as a na­tional con­gress­man.

Pac-fever has peaked again in the Philip­pines over the past week with con­fir­ma­tion that the long-awaited mega-fight be­tween Pac­quiao and Amer­i­can Floyd May­weather will take place in Las Ve­gas in May.

De­spite the up­com­ing show­down -- pit­ting the best pound­for-pound fighters of their gen­er­a­tion in the rich­est fight in his­tory -- Pac­quiao in­tends to con­tinue with his pro-ball ca­reer. — AFP

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