Boxer Manny Pacquiao was introduced as KIA Motors’ head coach for the next season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
In a report by abs-cbnNEWS.com on Monday, the Sarangani representative was quoted as saying that he hopes to have a “fast, strong, and disciplined team” that will be defense-oriented.
While he admitted that he’s not very learned when it comes to being on the court, Manny said that this wouldn’t hinder him in leading the team for he intends to focus on being a coach. Manny is raring to build a championship team in the next two to three years.
While many are scoffing at his new role, Manny shared that prior to boxing his first love was actually basketball. “Kailangan ko mapatunayan na hindi lamang sa boxing, kundi sa basketball ang aking gilas,” he said.
KIA is one of the three expansion teams that will join the PBA next season, along with NLEX and Blackwater Sports.
In a separate report on Tuesday, the WBO champion assured that he would be incorporating his knowledge and skills as a boxer in his new team. “Malaki 'yung madadala ko from boxing kasi yung basketball, more on strategy at maraming different style,” he said.
Hard training, according to the Pacman, is what awaits his new team. “’Yung experience ko as boxer, madadala din sa training, kaya ‘yung mga players, maghanda na sila,” he said.
Due to league rules, the boxer was originally prevented from being a playing coach for the team without undergoing the annual rookie draft. “I’ll follow the rules and regulations of the PBA. Right now, my focus is sa pagiging head coach, kung pano ako makakabuo ng magaling na team,” said the eight-division boxing champion.
“Lagi kong iniisip ang mga fans at ang kapakanan ng performance ng team KIA. Ayoko namang mapahiya sa mga big boss,” he added.
The newly appointed basketball coach revealed that he already has a list of candidates for assistant coaches and will be announcing his choices soon.