By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – A team that is built on speed similar to his formidable fist, with a tenacious defensive style with the kind of a knockout power punch from eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
That is what the boxing icon wants his team Kia to be when they start their participation in the PBA’s 40th season starting in October, after he was formally introduced as head coach of the expansion team.
“Gusto ko mabilis ang laro,” said the 35-year-old Pacquiao in a press briefing yesterday at the main office of Columbian Autocar Corp. – distributors of Kia in the country – at the Pacific Star building in Makati City.
“Ang focus sa team na ‘to is stop the scoring, defense,” added Pacquiao, who has been conducting tryouts for a month now playing with free agents aspiring to play for the expansion team.
Pacquiao said his focus at the moment is to form a fighting team as the team’s mentor, although he is open to play for the team in the future and he understands that he has to go through the process and apply for the PBA Rookie Draft – just like other aspiring PBA players.
“Sa ngayon head coach ako, ‘yung paglalaro hindi pa natin alam. Basta ang focus ngayon pagko-coach, at kumuha ng magagaling na players,” said Pacquiao, who had a team – MP GenSan Warriors – with the now-defunct Liga Pilipinas.
“Ako’y masayang masaya ng kinuha akong head coach ng Kia. Malaking responsibilidad. Kailangan ko mapatunayan na hindi lang sa larangan ng boksing, kundi maging sa larangan ng basketbol na kaya ko ring magpakita ng gilas. Hindi namin kayo bibiguin,” Pacquiao added.
Top officials of the company were present during the announcement, including CAC Chairman and Palawan Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez and President Ginea Domingo, and PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
Several members of the PBA board also attended the gathering, including the board’s vice chairman Pato Gregorio of Talk ’N Text, Globalport’s Erick Arejola, and Alaska’s Dickie Bachmann.