MANILA, Philippines – Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wants to be remembered not only for his ring exploits, but also for his forays on the hard court.
Pacquiao on Monday has been formally introduced as head coach of Kia Motors, one of the latest PBA newcomers, and he vowed to prove himself worthy of the position.
In a well-attended press conference at the Pacific Star Building in Makati, the eight-division world champion expressed optimism about getting the job done for Kia, which joins NLEX and Blackwater Sports as the PBA’s new expansion teams.
“Kailangan ko mapatunayan, di lamang sa boxing, kundi sa basketball ang aking gilas (I need to prove that may skills aren’t limited to just boxing, but basketball as well),” said Pacquiao, who was accompanied by his entourage and PBA commissioner Chito Salud.
Pacquiao went on to talk about basketball as his first love before boxing, how he plans to transform Kia into a competitive squad, and whether he himself also plans to suit up as a player.
“Yung paglalaro, hindi ko pa alam yan. Ang focus ko ngayon ay yung pagko-coach,” he clarified.
Pacquiao has reportedly tapped former PBA star Glenn Capacio as his assistant, and is currently in the process of finalizing Kia’s roster. He said he is no stranger to running a basketball team, citing his MP-GenSan Warriors that saw action in the defunct Liga Pilipinas.
“2012 sumali tayo sa Liga Pilipinas... Sa basketball strategy ang kailangan,” he continued.
The 2014-2015 PBA season kicks off on Oct. 19, something Pacquiao looks forward to even as Kia prospects are still undergoing training.
Currently also Sarangani congressman, Pacquiao now adds the PBA to his packed schedule that includes at least two fights per year. He defeated Timothy Bradley last April and will be back on the ring this November against a still-to-be-determined opponent.
“It’s all about time management,” Pacquiao said.