Pacquiao, Kia KO another giant in Talk n Text
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2015 - 7:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -- Kia Carnival shoot down another giant in former champion Talk n Text Tropang Texters, 106-103, on Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner's Cup as playing-coach Manny Pacquiao provided the inspiration as unheralded Hyram Bagatsing knocked down career-high 21 points. 

Bagatsing hit six triples, mostly on kickout pass from their hulking import PJ Ramos, who flirted with a triple-double (24 points, 24 rebounds, 9 assists). Pacquiao played for nearly seven minutes despite in the midst of training for the super fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2. 

Despite not scoring, missing two free throws, on his floor stint, Pacquiao was able to inspire the team to stage the comeback from as much as 17 points down as the Carnival led by Bagatsing waxed hot from downtown. 

"I'm just really fortunate to be part of this team. They're a great bunch of guys here. Coach Manny's great, the coaching staff is great," Bagatsing said. 

It was Kia's first back to back win in its young franchise history. 

Pacquiao pointed out to the hard work they put in training as the key to their big wins. 

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng sumuporta at pumuntang manood ng game dito. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon at na-bless kami ng panalo ngayong gabi. Nadinig ang panalangin namin. Ibig sabihin siguro is maganda ang ginagawa ng mga players and then sa training na ginagawa namin," Pacquiao said in the post-game press conference. "Sacrifice lang sa training, yun lang naman ang lagi kong sinasabi ko sa kanila para hindi na tayo mahirapan sa game."

Kia's confidence level is at all-time high after slaying down Phil. Cup champion San Miguel Beer and defending champion Purefoods  Star.  

"Tatlong malalakas na teams ang tinalo namin so I believe na yung kumpiyansa ng bawat isa, andun na," Pacquiao said.

Asked what is his message to his team before leaving them, Pacquiao's answer drew cheers from the press.

"Hindi lang pumasok [sa playoffs] kundi mag-champion. Posible ba yun? I told you nothing is impossible with God," Pacquiao said. 

Pacquiao hinted that he would play his last PBA game on Saturday against fellow expansion team Blackwater.

"Baka, baka maglaro pa rin. Pupunta na ako [sa US] after that [Blackwater] game, " he added. 

Pacquiao himself dismissed the fans' fear of him getting injured in the PBA while in training for the Mayweather fight. 

"Okay lang yun basta ang importante manalo ang team. Kailangang maglaro para ganahan ang mga teammates ko. Hindi naman [tayo mai-injure]. Alam naman natin ginagawa natin. Safe lang, playing safe," Pacquiao said. 

Then off he went to Kia locker room with a 'Carnival' atmosphere. His players welcomed him with shouts of "Vegas! Vega! Vegas!" in reference to his upcoming fight against Mayweather. 

BAGATSING COACH MANNY FLOYD MAYWEATHER HYRAM BAGATSING KIA KIA CARNIVAL MANNY PACQUIAO PACQUIAO
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