Pacquiao organizes pre-season tourney for Mahindra

(Philstar.com) - September 1, 2015 - 3:49am

MANILA, Philippines -- Playing-coach Manny Pacquiao is expecting Mahindra’s (formerly KIA) fortunes to change come next season following its busy preseason.

Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda said Pacquiao is pleased with the addition of veteran forwards Nino Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos, two experienced big men, who will serve as leaders for the incoming sophomore PBA team.

“Manny is very happy (with the new look of the team). Maraming pagbabago.  And I think we have a better line up now, with KG and Aldrech,” Pineda told Philstar.com on Tuesday.

Canaleta and Ramos landed at Mahindra’s lap after trading away its no. 2 rookie selection Troy Rosario to Talk ‘N Text. The Tropang Texters, then gave up Fil-Am Rob Reyes and Kevin Alas in exchange.

The Enforcers shipped Alas to the Road Warriors, allowing them to acquire Canaleta and Ramos.

Pineda said the burden of leading the young team under Pacquiao now lies squarely on the shoulders of the 35-year-old Canaleta, a challenge he is ready to take.

“Siyempre, KG is one of the best players in the PBA today and all the players in the team look up to him,” noted the Mahindra team executive.

“He will play a different role now.  Marami kasing superstars before sa nilaruan ni KG, pero sinabi naman namin he will lead this team and I think he likes it (the challenge),” he added.

Mahindra also added frontline support with the addition of free agent pickups led by playmakers Paolo Hubalde and Nard Pinto, as well as hulking forward JR Taganas, who is coming off a solid stint with AMA University Titans in the PBA D-League last season.

The 6-3, wide-bodied Taganas, an undersized forward, is best remembered for hauling down a new D-League record 29 rebounds for the AMA during a regular Foundation Cup elimination round game last March.

Si Taganas yung panapat namin  kay (Rain or Shine big man Beau) Belga saka Dorian (Pena),” said Pineda in jest.

Pineda bared the Enforcers are leaving on Thursday for General Santos City to participate in a five-team pocket tournament organized by Pacquiao himself.

Pineda said GlobalPort will be joining the pocket tournament in the South, along with three commercial teams from Davao.

Parang iyan (pocket tournament) na rin yung early preparation namin para masubukan yung team,” he said.

Second-round rookie draft pick Bradwyn Guinto won’t join the team in Gen San for the moment due to his ongoing commitment with the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA.

ACIRC BRADWYN GUINTO CANALETA AND RAMOS D-LEAGUE ERIC PINEDA FIL-AM ROB REYES AND KEVIN ALAS MAHINDRA PACQUIAO PINEDA TAGANAS TEAM
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