DIGOS City – Add the name Manny Pacquiao to the coming PBA Draft on August 24 at Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila.
Pacquiao, the eight-division world boxing champion, told Sun. Star-Cebu during the opening of the PLDT-ABAP National Open Championship here that he will definitely be joining the rookie draft as advised by PBA commissioner Chito Salud during the recent launching of Kia Motors as a PBA team.
Kia, along with NLEX and Blackwater Sports, were approved by the PBA Board of Governors as new PBA franchises and will be fielding their respective teams starting next season. Pacquiao, named as head coach earlier, said his ballclub will be known as Kia Kamao.
“Magpa-draft ako this coming August. Then mag-playing coach ako sa Kia Motors,” Pacquiao said.
Salud had made it clear that for Pacquiao to be able to play in the PBA, the boxing icon will have to go through the traditional route for incoming players: the rookie draft.
“No problem if Manny were to coach Kia,” Salud said. “But if wants to play, he will have to apply for drafting.”
Pacquiao said he is looking forward to the coming dispersal draft next week but bared he has yet no idea who will be made available.
The Sarangani congressman brushed aside criticisms questioning his ability to play against the best basketball players in the country.
“Bale wala sa ’kin yon,” he said.
Pacquiao had previously suited up for teams in the Mindanao-Visayas Basketball Association (MVBA) and Liga Pilipinas, and is bent on joining basketball legends Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez as playing-coaches in the PBA.
Jaworski had his greatest moments with Barangay Ginebra while Fernandez once called the shots at Purefoods.
Reports also indicated that Bobby Pacquiao, Manny’s elder brother, will not be apply for drafting but will instead make way for their cousin, Rene Pacquiao, a 6-foot-7 former Southwestern Cobra who played at CESAFI at the same time as a rising Cebuano star named June Mar Fajardo. (TST)