Puerto Rican import PJ Ramos, who has been a dominating presence inside the paint for the Carnival, was singled out by the multi-awarded Uichico as the reason behind Kia’s recent success.
Not only has Kia been winning games, the victories came at the expense of heavyweight teams like Grand Slam king San Miguel, 88-78, defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup titlist Purefoods, 95-84, and the Gilas-powered TNT, 106-103.
“He’s not just a tall guy, he’s big,” said Uichico of the 7-3 Ramos, who struck hard for Kia with 24 points, 25 rebounds and nine assists.
“It’s okay if he was just 6-8 or 6-10 but he’s over seven feet,” added Uichico, whose 255-pound 6-8 import Ivan Johnson proved no match for the 275-pound Ramos.
Pacquiao, the playing coach of Kia, hasn’t made a crucial contribution except for his presence on the court and Uichico isn’t sure if that is making a big difference.
“I am not sure if his presence has something to do with it (Kia’s win streak),” added Uichico.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, is making one last court appearance today when the Carnival deal with fellow newcomer Blackwater at the San Juan Arena.
Pacquiao, who has a May 2 ring date with Floyd Mayweather, plans to suit up anew and inspire the team that is mostly made up of has-beens and discards.
“I just want this team to keep on winning,” said Pacquiao, who plans to depart for Los Angeles to start his training after the Blackwater game.
The Carnival want to give him a rousing sendoff.